Higher Accommodation Supplement

Page last updated: 22 October 2014

From 1 July 2014, the Government will increase its accommodation supplement paid on behalf of eligible residents who receive aged care in either:

  • new residential aged care facilities that have been completed on or after 20 April 2012; or
  • existing residential aged care facilities that have been significantly refurbished on or after 20 April 2012.

The intent of the higher maximum accommodation supplement is to encourage the development of additional capacity in the residential care sector and enhanced quality and amenity of accommodation for residents. The maximum level of the accommodation supplement will increase to $52.49 (1 July 2014 rate).

Newly Built Residential Care Services facilities

Newly built services that have been completed on or after 20 April 2012 will automatically qualify for the higher accommodation supplement. Services in newly built facilities are not required to submit an application.

Eligibility will be determined using information collected by the Department of Social Services from existing processes. Eligible services will be notified by the Department.

The term ‘newly built residential care service’ is defined in the Aged Care (Subsidy, Fees and Payments) Determination 2014, which can be accessed at the ComLaw website.

Significantly refurbished facilities

Services in refurbished facilities are required to apply to the Secretary of the Department for a determination that their service is ‘significantly refurbished’.

There are two pathways to seek a determination from the Secretary that a service is significantly refurbished and therefore eligible to receive the higher accommodation supplement.

Pathway 1: Standard approval

The main pathway is to apply for ‘standard approval’, which is for services with completed refurbishments.

Pathway 2: Pre-approval

For services with a proposed refurbishment, they may wish to apply for ‘pre-approval’, which is an optional route that comprises two-stages (pre-approval and confirmation of completion). For proposed refurbishments that receive pre-approval, the higher accommodation supplement will not be payable until all criteria have been confirmed as met at the completion of the refurbishment.

The Subsidy Principles 2014 (the Principles) set out the application process and the eligibility criteria for the higher accommodation supplement in relation to significantly refurbished services. The Principles can be accessed at the ComLaw website.

Applying for the higher accommodation supplement

There are three ways to apply:

  1. Apply online. Complete the online form and upload attachments securely by visiting the Forms Adminstration Portal;
  2. Download a paper application form.
  3. Request a paper application form. Contact Forms Administration at dss@formsadministration.com.au or 02 4403 0640 to request for a hard copy form to be mailed to you for paper-and-pencil completion.

For eligible applications relating to completed refurbishments:

  • If the refurbishment was completed before 1 July 2014 and the application for determination was received on or before 31 July 2014, the higher accommodation supplement will be paid from 1July 2014; or
  • In any other case, the higher accommodation supplement will be paid from the day the application was received.

Application forms

For the standard approval pathway, an ‘application for standard approval’ will be required. For the pre-approval pathway, an ‘application for pre-approval’ and subsequent ‘confirmation of completed pre-approval significant refurbishment’ are required.

  1. Application for Standard Approval’ – use this form if your service has a completed refurbishment.
  2. Application for Pre-approval’ – use this form if your service has a proposed refurbishment for which you wish to seek conditional approval.
  3. Confirmation of Completed Pre-approved Significant Refurbishment’ – use this form to confirm a completed refurbishment that received pre-approval.

Please ensure that you submit your application using the relevant approved form.

If multiple services under the same approved provider have been, or will be, refurbished, a separate application form is required for each service.

Upon submitting your application form (including the confirmation form), please ensure that you retain a copy of the completed form and all attachments for your records.

Guidelines for Applying for the Higher Accommodation Supplement (the Guidelines).

The Guidelines have been developed to assist service providers in assessing their eligibility as a significantly refurbished service and in completing the application form.

Submission of application forms

Completed application forms (including the confirmation form) and relevant attachments can be submitted via one of the following methods:




Forms Administration
PO BOX 5008


(02) 4447 8711

Should you require additional information or assistance with accessing, completing or submitting an application form, please contact Forms Administration via the contact details below.

Assessment of applications for the Higher Accommodation Supplement

Written notification of the application outcome for standard approval and pre-approval applications is required under the Principles to be provided within 60 days of receipt of an application, unless the Department has made a request for additional information. If the Secretary has requested additional information, the period of time starting from the date of request through to and including the date of receipt by the Secretary of that additional information is not counted towards the 60 day period.

For pre-approved refurbishments, upon receipt of the confirmation form following project completion, written notification of whether the eligibility requirements have been met will be provided within 28 days.

Every reasonable effort will be made to process applications in a timely manner.  In assessing applications for the Higher Accommodation Supplement with regard to significantly refurbished services, officers of the Department of Social Service will be guided by the Assessment Manual.

For further information

For more information, please refer to:


Queries about the higher accommodation supplement may be sent via e-mail to: higher.accommodation.supplement@dss.gov.au.