Aged care home accommodation refunds

Moving residential services

You may find that you need to move from one aged care home to another. If you move, then your lump-sum balance, less allowable amounts that have been taken out over the care period will be refunded. You will need to agree to new arrangements with your new aged care home.

If you are a resident who moved into care and paid a lump sum before 1 July 2014, you can choose to keep the existing arrangement with the new provider. Read more about pre-1 July 2014 arrangements.

Refund timeframes when leaving are below.

  • If you let your aged care home know more than 14 days’ in advance of you leaving, then your lump sum balance must be refunded to you on the day you leave.
  • If you give 14 days’ notice (or less) of leaving then the lump sum balance must be repaid within 14 days after the day you give notice.
  • If you don’t let your aged care home know in advance that you are leaving, the lump sum balance must be refunded within 14 days after the day of you leaving.

Before moving, you need to agree to fees and payment arrangements with the new aged care home.

After a resident dies

If the care recipient dies, the provider must refund the lump sum balance less any allowable amounts that have been deducted over the care period, within 14 days of receiving either:

  • evidence of probate of the resident’s Will (the official proving of a Will) or
  • letters of administration (authority to administer the estate of someone who has died without making a will).

The provider may refund the lump sum balance without evidence of probate or letters of administration, if they are confident that the correct legal beneficiary has been identified, but they do have the right to see these documents.

This protects the aged care provider and the resident’s estate by ensuring the resident’s wishes are followed by identifying who is entitled to receive the refund.

Interest

No interest is payable on a lump sum while a resident is in care. However, providers must pay interest on the lump sum to you or your estate for any time the provider holds the lump sum after your care has ended.

Printable fact sheet

Read the refund of lump sums paid for accommodation.


Accommodation prices

Aged care homes must publish their maximum accommodation prices on the My Aged Care website, their own website (if they have one) and in other relevant materials they provide to people thinking about becoming residents.

The published accommodation prices are the maximum an aged care home can charge. You and the aged care home can agree to a lower price. You cannot be charged more than the maximum published price. If there is no published price, the provider cannot charge for an accommodation price.

The prices are shown as:

  • the maximum lump-sum refundable accommodation deposit you could be asked to pay
  • the equivalent rental-style daily accommodation payment you could be asked to pay
  • an example of a combined payment method, such as 50% payment by lump-sum refundable accommodation deposit and 50% rental-style daily accommodation payment.

The aged care home must also publish their extra service fees, if any. These are packages of higher standard accommodation, meals and services which the home can provide at an additional cost. Read more about ‘extra’ service fees.

These prices are shown in the aged care homes finder under the name of the aged care home.

Aged care homes must provide details of the type of accommodation they will provide for a particular accommodation price.

This will let you compare the prices of different room types, for example a private room with an ensuite bathroom.

There may be different maximum accommodation prices for different room types in an aged care home.

Aged care homes wanting to charge accommodation prices of more than $550,000 as a lump sum, or as rental-style payments based on a daily rate, must have their prices approved by the Aged Care Pricing Commissioner.

Guarantee Scheme

If your aged care provider becomes bankrupt or insolvent and cannot refund lump sum balances, the Australian Government guarantees to repay an amount the same as the lump sum balance amount, including any interest due since the resident left care, to you or your estate. The Guarantee Scheme covers all residents of Australian Government subsidised aged care services who have paid a lump sum.

Last reviewed: 12 April, 2017.