Residential aged care and the NDIS

Younger people may be living in a residential aged care facility if other support options are not appropriate or available for their care needs.

Australia’s aged care system is generally not designed to provide support to younger people under the age of 65, apart from in exceptional circumstances.

To be eligible to receive aged care services, younger people must first explore what alternative accommodation and supports are available to them. Younger people should only access the aged care system when no other accommodation and support options are available to meet their needs. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and who meet aged care eligibility criteria can access the aged care system from 50 years of age.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) supports younger people under 65 years with a permanent and significant disability. Younger people under 65 years, who have a disability and live in residential aged care, may be eligible for the NDIS and may wish to explore other age-appropriate accommodation and support options.

Applying for access to the NDIS

Younger people in residential aged care may be eligible for the NDIS if they:

  • are under 65 years
  • live in Australia and are an Australian citizen or have a Permanent or Special Category Visa
  • have a permanent and significant disability and need disability-related support.

To find out how to apply to the NDIS, a younger person or their nominee can visit the NDIS website or contact the NDIS.  

Alternatively, a younger person or their nominee can obtain assistance with checking their NDIS eligibility (if appropriate) through the Ability First Australia (AFA) Younger Person in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) System Coordinator Program.

A younger person, their nominee, family or carer can help progress their NDIS application by providing:

  • evidence of the younger person’s disability
  • copies of key documents:
    • accommodation agreement
    • residential care agreement
    • letters on aged care fees from Services Australia
  • statement from the residential aged care facility detailing the person’s means-tested care fee and accommodation payments (if available).

Younger people who are eligible for the NDIS

If a younger person is eligible for the NDIS, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will set up a planning meeting with an NDIA YPIRAC planner. In this meeting, the younger person can discuss their accommodation and support goals and explore alternatives to living in residential aged care.

If a younger person wishes to remain with their current residential aged care provider, they will continue to:

  • receive their care and services through the aged care provider
  • pay their existing aged care fees and payments.

The NDIS will determine what supports should be funded by the NDIS and include these supports in the younger person’s NDIS plan, if they are an NDIS participant. For more information, see the NDIS YPIRAC Operational Guideline.

Younger people who are not eligible for the NDIS

If a younger person is not eligible for the NDIS and wishes to move out of a residential aged care facility, the AFA YPIRAC System Coordinator Program can provide assistance.

An AFA YPIRAC System Coordinator can help the younger person to:

  • navigate the disability, housing, health and aged care systems
  • find alternative accommodation and support services that best meets their needs
  • move from residential aged care if this is the younger person’s choice.

The younger person, or their family, can contact AFA to find out:

  • how to receive support
  • where YPIRAC System Coordinators are operating in their area.

Residential aged care fees and payments

Younger people who remain in aged care may be required to contribute to:

  • accommodation costs
  • living expenses
  • care services that are not funded under the NDIS.

Find out more about the residential aged care fees and payments.

Date last updated:

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