The Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI)

Residential aged care providers use the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) to claim residential care subsidy for each resident that permanently enters their care.

What is the ACFI?

The Australian Government subsidises a large proportion of the costs of running approved residential aged care homes. The amount of subsidy paid is based on your assessments of the residents’ ongoing care needs.

The amount of ACFI claimed can affect how much a resident pays in fees.

Current ACFI rates are in the schedule of subsidies and supplements.

ACFI COVID-19 Update

We are now undertaking ACFI reviews from our offices until further notice. This removes any risk of COVID-19 transmission during departmental staff visits.

We have had queries about pain management assessments to support claims under ACFI question 12.4 (b).

Due to COVID-19 an allied health professional may be temporarily unavailable to deliver pain management treatments. In these cases records of treatment for ACFI purposes should state:

  • what ACFI treatments could not be completed and the reasons for this
  • why and when a treatment was ceased
  • which qualified alternate staff undertook the particular ACFI User Guide actions.

The record of treatment should also set out:

  • how, where and when alternate measures were implemented
  • how the alternate measures were based on the clinical judgement of the provider:
    • to meet the care needs of the resident
    • to meet the Aged Care Quality and Safety Standards.

How does the ACFI work?

The ACFI consists of 12 questions about a resident’s assessed care needs, and two diagnostic sections. Needs are classified under the 3 funding domains of:

  • activities of daily living (ADL)
  • behaviour (BEH)
  • complex health care (CHC).

The 4 levels of funding for each domain are:

  • nil
  • low
  • medium
  • high.

The subsidy you get is the combined amounts payable for the level for each domain (ADL + BEH + CHC).

How to use the ACFI

You make an ACFI claim by completing the ACFI application for classification form. There are 2 ways you can submit the form to Services Australia:

The information you include in the form is based on information from the ACFI answer appraisal and assessment packs.


Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) Resources

These resources are to assist approved aged care providers to complete assessments for the ACFI. Included in this collection are the user guide, fact sheet, and the assessment and answer appraisal packs.

Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) – additional information

This information is for aged care providers. It supplements the ACFI user guide and helps providers to complete the ACFI assessment.

For further information about the ACFI questions, you can also watch the ACFI guide for providers of aged care video.

How and when to submit an ACFI

You submit the ACFI Application for Classification form to Services Australia. Ongoing monthly ACFI subsidy payments are then paid through Services Australia.

You must then conduct an ACFI appraisal:

  • at least 7 days after the resident enters your care
  • before the resident has been with you for 2 months.

You can only submit the application for classification to Services Australia after 28 days of the resident being in your care.

Penalties apply for late appraisals. If you submit your appraisal:

  • within 2 to 3 months after the appraisal end date – your subsidy will be reduced by $25 each day until Services Australia gets the form
  • more than 3 months after the appraisal end date – you will not receive a subsidy until after Services Australia gets the application for classification form.

ACFI appraisals and reappraisals

You must provide a resident with 7 continuous days of care before starting an ACFI appraisal.

If a resident received respite care before entering permanent care, the 7-day period may include the days in respite (if there’s no break in service). However, you must start the appraisal when the resident enters care permanently.

You must conduct an ACFI reappraisal when:

  • the classification expires
  • we request in writing that a care recipient be reappraised.

A resident’s needs can also be appraised:

  • after the first 12 months from the date the resident’s classification took effect
  • any time when a resident is classified at the lowest level
  • within 2 months of a resident transferring, and the new provider does not agree with their classification
  • when a resident has had a significant change in care needs
  • when a resident has incorrectly been classified at the lowest level.

A reappraisal is usually conducted 1 month before the existing classification expires, running until 1 month after it expires. Exceptions to this rule are in Division 27 of the Aged Care Act 1997.

Services Australia has further information on when to appraise or reappraise a care recipient.

ACFI reviews and reconsiderations

We can review your applications for classification. If you do not agree with our ACFI review decisions, you can seek a reconsideration.

Management of reviews and reconsiderations is through the My Aged Care Provider Portal.

Organisations must be registered to access the Provider Portal.

Read more about accessing and setting up the My Aged Care Provider Portal.

Supporting legislation

The ACFI was designed to link to the requirements under the Quality of Care Principles 2014.

The ACFI questions are indicators only. The amount of funding provided is for delivering all legislated care and services under the:

Chapter 2 in the Aged Care (Subsidy, Fees and Payments) Determination 2014 sets out the basic subsidy amount, including ACFI rates.

ACFI reports

Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) Annual Report

This report provides the breakdown of days spent in each ACFI classification by state in a year.

Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) Review Quarterly Reports

These reports have tables with reviews and review outcomes by state and ACFI question for the quarter, and upgrade and downgrade rates by state and question for the quarter.


Contact Services Australia:

  • to follow-up on ACFI claims
  • for information and questions on subsidy payments.

For general policy and program enquiries, or complaints about ACFI, contact our ACFI team.

Email our reconsiderations team to find out about ACFI reconsiderations.

Contact the subsidies and supplements team for general enquiries about aged care provider payments.

For other enquiries, see all aged care contacts.

Last updated: 
30 April 2021

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