About the payment

This payment encourages residential and home care workers to continue providing direct care services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers and agencies apply on behalf of their eligible workers.

There are three payments – one for workers employed in June/July 2020, one for workers employed at 31 August 2020, and one for workers employed at 30 November 2020.

Who is eligible

You are eligible for the payment if your employer is:

  • funded by the Australian Government as an approved provider, or
  • an agency employing aged care workers in approved provider settings.

In addition, you must be providing direct care to residential aged care or Home Care Package Program clients. This care can be as a full-time, part-time or casual worker.

For residential aged care, this includes:

  • registered nurses
  • enrolled nurses
  • allied health workers
  • personal care workers who have direct contact with residents
    (such as helping with dressing, showering, managing wounds, medication, movement, feeding, hygiene, grooming, and other personal care tasks).

For the Home Care Packages Program, this includes workers who provide:

  • clinical support
  • personal care, such as helping with showering and dressing
  • cleaning and support for household tasks
  • meal preparation and shopping services
  • social, community access and transport support
  • allied health and respite services.

You are not eligible if you provide non-direct care, such as management, administration, or grounds maintenance.

If you provide both direct and non-direct care, you are eligible for the direct care part of your work.

Aged Care Workforce Retention Payment eligibility flow chart

This flow chart shows who is eligible for the Aged Care Workforce Retention Payment.

Payment amounts

The payment amount depends on the average weekly hours you worked in direct care during the 4 weeks before:

  • the application date for payment 1 (or for applications on or after 1 August, the 4 week period up to 31 July)
  • 31 August 2020 for payment 2
  • 30 November 2020 for payment 3

Your employer will give us this information.

Home care workers

Average weekly hours

Payment amount

More than 3 and up to 7.5 hours

$120

More than 7.5 and up to 15 hours

$240

More than 15 and up to 22.5 hours

$360

More than 22.5 and up to 30 hours

$480

More than 30 hours

$600

Residential care workers

Average weekly hours

Payment amount

More than 3 and up to 7.5 hours

$160

More than 7.5 and up to 15 hours

$320

More than 15 and up to 22.5 hours

$480

More than 22.5 and up to 30 hours

$640

More than 30 hours

$800

How to apply

You do not need to do anything. Your employer or agency will apply on your behalf. They will make the payments to you through their payroll.

When payments are made

Employers and agencies commenced receiving the third payment in February 2021. Payment may be later depending on an employer’s circumstances.

Employers must make the payment to their workers within 2 pay periods of receiving the funds.

If you have a problem with your payment

It’s okay to ask about your payment if you think it is wrong, or you haven’t got a payment and believe you should. 

Make sure you read our frequently asked questions for aged care workers. We may have answered your question already.

Step 1. Talk to your employer

It is important that you talk to your employer first. In most cases, they can resolve the query quickly because they have all the information. 

If you are not sure how to talk to your employer, it may help to:

  • write an email or letter to your employer to explain the problem (this also means you have a written record)
  • focus on the facts
  • ask for help from a friend or family member

If needed, you can use the Translating and Interpreting Service or the National Relay Service.

If you feel you can’t talk to your employer, go to step 2 below.

Step 2. Contact us

Contact us if your employer was not able to help, or you feel you cannot talk to your employer:

  1. Fill in the Aged Care Workforce Retention Payment enquiry form with as much information as you can. If available, include supporting material such as pay slips. In the form, tell us if we can contact your employer.
  2. Send the completed form to Aged.Care.Workforce.Retention.Payment.Enquiries [at] health.gov.au. You will receive an automatic reply to confirm we have received your form.

If we cannot help you, we will let you know straight away. If we can help you, we will:

  1. contact your employer, with your consent, to find out more (we will tell you when we do this)
  2. look at all the information from you and your employer and make a decision
  3. let you know the outcome (if we contacted your employer, the timing of this will depend on when they respond)

If the evidence shows wrongdoing by your employer, we may take audit action. If this happens, we may not tell you about the outcome.

If you are not happy with our decision or the way we handled your enquiry, you can submit a complaint or contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman. For how we handle your personal information, see our privacy policy.

Find out more

Read our fact sheets on the payment:

Last updated: 
18 March 2021