Specialised Base Care Tariff

The Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) funding model includes specialised base care tariff (BCT) categories for services that specialise in providing care to certain groups. Learn about the specialised BCT eligibility criteria and application process.

Specialised status

Approved providers may be eligible for specialised status if their aged care service specialises in providing care to:

  • homeless people (any location in Australia)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and you are located in a remote (MMM 6) or very remote (MMM 7) location.

Eligibility for specialised status determination

Specific eligibility criteria apply for each specialised status category.

Specialised homeless status

To be determined to have specialised homeless status, the Secretary (or delegate) must be satisfied that the residential care service:

  • has provided, or one of their key personnel has demonstrated experience in providing, or has the capacity to provide, specialist homeless programs; and
  • is either providing specialist homeless programs or has given a written undertaking that the service will begin providing such programs within 3 months after the application is made; and
  • on the day before the application is made, has at least 50% of its non-respite care recipients (including continuing care recipients) demonstrated complex behavioural needs and social disadvantage associated with their background as a homeless person.

In making their decision, the Secretary may have regard to any information they consider relevant (including information that becomes available after the application is made).

Specialised Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander status

To be determined to have specialised Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander status, the Secretary (or delegate) must be satisfied that the residential care service:

  • has provided, or one of their key personnel has demonstrated experience in providing, or has the capacity to provide, specialist Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander programs; and
  • the residential care service is providing Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander specialist programs, or has given a written undertaking to begin providing such programs within 3 months after the application is made; and
  • on the day before the application is made, at least 50% of its non-respite care recipients (including continuing care recipients) are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander persons and the service is in a MMM6 or MMM7 location.

In making their decision, the Secretary may have regard to any information they consider relevant (including information that becomes available after the application is made). For detailed information on specialised status eligibility, see the AN-ACC - Specialised status guide for Residential Aged Care approved providers. The AN-ACC Funding Guide also includes information on specialised status, as well as comprehensive information about the AN-ACC funding model.

New applications for specialised status

To apply for specialised status, approved providers of a residential care service should complete either the Specialised Homeless status application form or the Specialised Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander status application form and provide any evidence in support of their application. The completed application form, together with any additional supporting information, should be emailed to the Subsidies and Supplements team.

If determined, a specialised status will apply for up to 3 years, provided the residential care service continues to meet all the relevant eligibility requirements.

Transitional arrangements from 1 October 2022 – 31 March 2023

Transitional arrangements are in place from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023 (the transition period), and some residential care services have been advised that they received specialised homeless or specialised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status for this period (interim specialised status). Residential care services who have been advised they have interim specialised status are those services that, during defined periods in the 2021-22 financial year were either:

  • for specialised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status – were in a MMM 6 or MMM 7 location and at least 50% of their non-respite care recipients (including continuing care recipients) were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander persons (either on the test day or during at least 8 relevant payment periods); or
  • for homeless status – receiving the former Homeless Supplement in respect of a care recipient (for the test day or at least 8 of the relevant payment periods).

Application for ongoing specialised status (from interim transitional status)

Some residential care services currently have an interim status during the transition period from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023. These providers must submit a formal application to the Department if they wish to have a specialised homeless status or a specialised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status past the end of the transition period.

Approved providers of these services should make their application using the process outlined above. It is recommended that approved providers lodge their application before the end of February 2023 to allow sufficient time for their application to be assessed and processed. This is because a determination that a residential care service has a specialised status will take effect from the first day of the month after the date the determination is made, not from the date the application is lodged.

Accordingly, lodgement of an application well before the end of the transition period end date will help prevent any gap in the continuity of the specialised status for eligible services.

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