Claiming the higher accommodation supplement for newly built or significantly refurbished residential aged care facilities

Page last updated: 29 November 2016

Fact sheet – aged care providers

What is changing?

As part of the changes to aged care, the Government will increase its contribution towards the accommodation costs of eligible residents in new or significantly refurbished residential aged care facilities that have been completed on or after 20 April 2012. From 1 July 2014, the maximum level of this supplement will increase to $52.49 (1 July 2014 rate).

Eligible residents are those residents who qualify for government assistance with their accommodation costs. This includes pre 1 July 2014 supported residents, concessional residents and assisted residents, and new low means residents entering care on or after 1 July 2014. 

Is my facility eligible?

New facilities

A ‘newly built residential care service’ is defined under section 75B of the Aged Care (Subsidy, Fees and Payments) Determination 2014.

Significantly refurbished facilities

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 Subsidy Principles 2014.

For a facility to be regarded as significantly refurbished: 

  • The cost of the refurbishment must at least equal a minimum monetary spend amount calculated on the number of care recipient’s rooms in the facility
  • The refurbishment must have made significant improvements and upgrades which directly benefit residents, particularly those residents who qualify for assistance with their accommodation costs
  • The refurbishment must provide benefits for at least 40 per cent of residents (e.g. having a refurbished bedroom) or an extension to the facility must have increased the total number of care recipient’s rooms by 25 per cent
  • The proportion of the total number of care recipient’s rooms available for residents who qualify for assistance with their accommodation costs must not have been reduced after the refurbishment
  • The relevant costs must be capitalised in accordance with Australian accounting standards
  • The work must have been completed on or after 20 April 2012

How do I apply?

New facilities

Services in newly built facilities that have been completed on or after 20 April 2012 do not need to apply. These newly built facilities will automatically qualify for the higher accommodation supplement. The Department of Social Services (the Department) will identify eligible services using information obtained through existing processes. Eligible services will be notified by the Department.

Significantly refurbished facilities

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.

For eligible applications relating to completed refurbishments:

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

Guidelines

The Guidelines for Applying for the Higher Accommodation Supplement (the Guidelines) have been developed to assist service providers in assessing their eligibility as a significantly refurbished service and in completing the application form.

Applying for the higher accommodation supplement

There are three options:

  1. Apply online. Complete the online form and upload attachments securely by visiting the Forms Administration 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.

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.

For further information

More information is available in the Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions, which can be accessed on the Department's website.

Enquiries

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

Current at 27 June 2014