Understanding the costs

Once you’ve chosen your home, it’s natural to start thinking about the costs involved. How much will I have to pay? What is covered by the costs? Are there flexible payment options? How do I get started?

Getting started

Although the exact costs will vary for each person, we have outlined the basic terms and fee structures to help you get a sense of your options and how the general costs work.

Care fees + Accommodation cost + Other services

Care fees

If you’re moving into any residential aged care home, you are required to contribute something towards your daily living expenses. The amount you pay depends on your financial circumstances. While the Australian Government subsidises a range of aged care services, there is an expectation that you will contribute to the costs of your care if you can afford to. Every person pays a basic daily care fee. If the Department of Human Services determines you can afford to pay a little extra as a result of your income and assets assessment, you will also need to pay a means-tested care fee. Both fees are outlined below:

Basic daily care fee

Determined by the Australian Government, this fee covers your basic daily living costs. The basic daily care fee is currently 85% of the basic age pension. The amount is indexed with the age pension and reviewed twice a year by the Australian Government. The basic daily care fee is paid by every person moving into a residential aged care home.

$61.96 per day

  • meals
  • laundry
  • personal care
  • heating/cooling
  • room cleaning
  • basic medical care

Means tested care fee

The Department of Human Services determines if you are required to pay this fee based on an assessment of your personal income and assets. The means-tested care fee is additional to the basic daily care fee.

This is determined upon completing a ‘Request for a Combined Assets and Income Assessment’ form.

Access calculation of cost of care forms here

Accommodation cost

Each of our homes offers a variety of rooms for you to choose from. The Resident Liaison Officer will be able to explain your specific options and the associated costs. For some people, accommodation costs can be subsidised by the Australian Government. Others will need to pay the accommodation cost as determined by the home. The Department of Human Services will advise which option applies to you based on your income and assets assessment. MyAgedCare have a simple calculator which will allow you to estimate which fees you will be eligible to pay.

Using the accommodation calculator

Please select the 'State', the 'Home' you are interested in and preferred 'Room type' using the calculator below to view your payment options. Once your accommodation cost is established, there are four flexible options.

Option 1

Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP)

The DAP involves converting your accommodation cost into an ongoing daily payment that is billed monthly. The daily payment is charged periodically at the maximum permissible interest rate (MPIR) as set by the Australian Government.

Option 2

Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD)

The RAD is a one-off lump sum accommodation payment that is fully refundable at the end of your stay, less any amounts you agree to have deducted.

Option 3

Combination Payment (DAP & RAD)

$ per day

Please enter a valid number

$ lump sum

Please enter a valid number

Use this helpful tool to calculate your desired combination payment. Changing the second amount (RAD) will automatically adjust the first amount (DAP). Combination payments involve making a one-off lump sum payment that is less than your total room price (RAD), and then making smaller ongoing payments (DAP).

Option 4


$ lump sum

Please enter a valid number


If you decide to leave our home at any point, the amount you or your family receive as a refund will be less than the amount you paid initially. The drawdown is similar to a Combination Payment, but the Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP) is taken from your Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD).

Additional services

Our additional services complement our existing high-quality care and let you add a touch of simple luxury to your life every day. You will find a wide variety of additional services to suit your preferences: from extra social activities, to exclusive chef-prepared meals and family video conferencing. Not all Mercy Place homes offer additional services. Check the individual home’s page to see if it does, and to see what services are provided. Like the daily care fee, the additional service fee is a daily one.

What to do if you’re unable to pay

If you are unable to pay for care because of financial difficulties, you can apply for financial hardship assistance from the Australian Government. If your application is successful, the Government will pay some or all of your care fees and costs. Each case is assessed on an individual basis. You can read more about how the Government can help lower your costs at My Aged Care.

Further information

For specific room costs and for a more comprehensive breakdown of your options, please contact the Resident Liaison Officer at your chosen home. Our knowledgeable team can explain your payment options but we cannot give you financial advice, so we also recommend you engage the services of a financial advisor specialised in aged care to support your financial decision-making. A brochure outlining the costs associated with aged care can be downloaded here. Alternatively, learn about the what's next involved in moving into your home.

Last reviewed November 21, 2019.