Financial hardship assistance for residential aged care

You may be able to get help if you’re having trouble paying your fees for residential aged care.

How it works

If we agree you’re in hardship we can do either of the following:

  • ask the aged care service to reduce or suspend your fees for a short time
  • pay some or all of your fees for a short time.

Who can apply

You can apply if all the following relate to you:

  • you haven’t gifted more than $10,000 in the last 12 months or $30,000 in the last 5 years
  • the assets you can sell or borrow against are below the threshold
  • you’ve had a means assessment for aged care
  • you started care in an extra service place on or after 1 July 2014.

How to apply

You can’t apply unless you’ve had a Calculation of your cost of care assessment for aged care.

Complete the Financial hardship assistance for Residential Aged Care form.

It asks for details of your assets and income. Send the form and your supporting documents to us, the address is on the form.

You should apply as soon as you start having problems paying your fees. We can sometimes backdate help if you have special circumstances.

Proof you need

With your form you need to send documents that prove all of the following:

  • your aged care costs
  • your other essential costs
  • any assets you can’t sell or borrow against.

You’ll also need to give full details of your assets if either:

  • you’re a self funded retiree
  • you don’t get a means tested income support payment.

If you don’t send the documents we need when you apply, we’ll ask you for more details. If you don’t send them within 28 days we’ll cancel your application.

When it starts and ends

We’ll write to you and your aged care provider to let you know:

  • if we agree to give you hardship assistance
  • how long it’ll last.

If we agree to give you financial assistance, it starts from the day we get your application.

Normally we can help for up to 12 months.

How long you can get help for depends on how bad your money problems are. We decide this when you apply.

If you still need help you can apply again. It’s best if you do this before the current financial assistance ends. If not you’ll have to pay your fees while we’re checking your application.

Read about financial hardship assistance and help to get you the care you need on the My Aged Care website.

Page last updated: 10 July 2019