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Basic daily fee for aged care homes

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A basic daily fee is used for your day-to-day living costs such as meals, cleaning, laundry, heating and cooling.

Everyone moving into an aged care home can be asked to pay this fee.

This is in addition to the:

  • means-tested care fee
  • accommodation costs
  • fees for extra and additional services.

When you enter an aged care home you will receive a letter from the Department of Human Services confirming your basic daily fee.

Fee rates

The basic daily fee is 85% of the single person rate of the basic age pension.

From 20 September 2018, the single rate of the basic age pension is $834.40 per fortnight, making the basic daily fee (from 20 September 2018 to 19 March 2019):

$50.66 per day; or

$709.24 per fortnight.

This amount is indexed with the age pension. This applies even if you are a member of a couple.

The basic daily fee is calculated daily, and you pay the basic daily fee for every day that you are in an aged care home – from the day your care starts, to the day your care ends. Your service provider can also ask you to pay the basic daily fee if you are on pre-entry leave (up to seven days before you move in). The basic daily fee is still paid while you are on social leave or hospital leave from your aged care home.

The basic daily fee is generally paid to your service provider fortnightly or monthly and your provider can ask you to pay fees up to one month in advance.

You can find the current rates of the basic daily fee on the Schedule of Residential Fees and Charges.

Further information on the age pension and a full list of current pension rates is available on the Department of Human Services website.

Further information on the Service Pension and Income Support Supplement and their rates are available on the Department of Veterans' Affairs website.


From 1 July 2014, if you are living in an aged care home and are a former Prisoner of War (POW) or Victoria Cross (VC) recipient, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs will pay the basic daily fee on your behalf and you will not have to pay a means-tested care fee. However, you may be asked to contribute towards the cost of your accommodation, depending on the outcome of your means test assessment.

For more information, contact Department of Veterans’ Affairs on 133 254 or 1800 555 254 (for regional callers).

Other contacts

Department of Human Services please call 132 300 or 1800 227 475 (for regional callers).



Find out more about the other types of costs you need to pay for care in an aged care home.

Last reviewed: 19 September, 2018.