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Residential Aged Care Fees & Accommodation Costs

The financial arrangements around aged care can be quite complicated. We will try to break it down here.


Basic Daily Care Fee: All consumers living in aged care are required to pay a basic daily care fee. This fee is used for covering the day-to-day living costs of consumers such as meals, heating, cleaning, etc.

The basic daily care fee is set at 85% of the single aged pension. This fee increases twice per year as the pension increases.

Means Tested Care Fee: The amount, if any, of a means tested care fee will depend upon the outcome of a Centrelink Assets & Income Assessment. A means tested fee is an additional contribution towards the cost of your care. This effectively means that you pay a higher share of the cost of your care and the government pays less.


This fee is calculated by either the Department of Human Services (DHS) or Veterans’ Affairs (DVA). You will need to complete a “Residential Aged Care – Calculation of your cost of care” and/or “Residential Aged Care – Property Details Assessment” form and lodge it with either DHS or DVA. This can be done prior to moving into Permanent Care (not applicable for Respite Care). You will receive a letter back from either DHS or DVA which will inform you if you have to pay the additional means tested care fee.


The means-tested fee is a calculated fee for each day of care. Generally, if assets are above a set amount or assessable annual income is above a set amount, a means tested care fee will apply. If the means tested care fee is applicable, it is capped at an annual amount. Once the cap is reached, this fee reduces to zero for the rest of that year (the year begins from your admission date). It reduces permanently to zero once you have reached the lifetime cap.


Some consumers will have their accommodation costs met in full or part by the Australian Government. Others will need to pay the full accommodation price set by Cowra Retirement Village. The Department of Human Services (DHS) will advise which applies to you based on the assessment of your income and assets.

If assessed assets are under a set amount, you will be a fully supported consumer, which means the Australian Government will cover your accommodation costs.

If assessed assets are between a set amount, a partial accommodation payment (called an accommodation contribution) will be required. The DHS will advise what portion the consumer pays and the Australian Government will pay the balance.

An incoming consumer with assets above a set amount will be required to make a full accommodation payment.

The current Accommodation prices for Cowra Retirement Village vary depending on the room.

An Accommodation payment can be paid in a number of ways:

Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD): A RAD is a lump sum payment which is 100% refundable when a consumer leaves Cowra Retirement Village.

RAD/DAP combination: Consumers can also choose to pay a partial lump-sum RAD (amount determined by the consumer) and use a rental-style DAP to make up the difference. Consumers may choose to deduct the DAP from the RAD, effectively reducing the RAD, or the DAP can be invoiced and paid monthly, preserving the RAD amount paid to be 100% refundable.

Daily Accommodation Payment  (DAP): A DAP  is a rental-style daily payment, calculated using a government interest rate and the following formula: (RAD x interest rate) divided by 365 days. 

Partially supported payment options:

Daily Accommodation Contribution (DAC): A DAC is the daily amount the DHS will advise you to pay if you are assessed as needing to pay a partial accommodation payment. This fee is re-assessed by the DHS several times per year and may change (either more or less).

Refundable Accommodation Contribution (RAC): A RAC is a lump sum payment, similar to the RAD. The RAC is calculated based on the DAC the DHS allocates you.  The DAC is converted to a RAC amount and you can pay the RAC amount if you wish. As the DAC may change throughout the year, this will also affect the RAC amount.  If the DAC goes up, the RAC will go up. If the DAC goes down, the RAC will go down.


All consumers, unless a RAD is paid on or before the admission date, will be charged a DAP until a Department of Human Services fee letter is received. This payment type can be altered if the fee letter indicates a different result or if you decide to pay your Accommodation costs with a RAD payment.

The My Aged Care website has an easy to use aged care fee estimator that can give you an estimate of the fees you may pay based on your individual circumstances.

*** Please click on the links below to view or print the relevant documents ***

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