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Navigating Aged Care Costs: Understanding RAD and DAP

Navigating the costs of aged care in Australia can be complex, particularly when it comes to understanding Refundable Accommodation Deposits (RAD) and Daily Accommodation Payments (DAP). These payment options are essential for anyone considering aged care facilities. This guide will explain what RAD and DAP are, how they work, and how to choose the best option for your needs.

What is a Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD)?

A Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) is a lump sum payment made to an aged care facility. The amount is agreed upon when you enter the facility and is fully refundable when you leave, provided no deductions (such as DAPs or other agreed costs) have been made. The RAD amount varies based on the location, size, and features of the accommodation.

Understanding Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP)

For those who prefer not to pay the full RAD upfront, the Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP) offers an alternative. The DAP is essentially an interest payment on any unpaid portion of the RAD. Unlike the RAD, the DAP is not refundable. The government sets the interest rate every quarter, and once you lock in an interest rate, it does not change.

Combination Payment: Balancing RAD and DAP

Residents can choose to pay a combination of RAD and DAP, managing cash flow while benefiting from both payment methods. For example, if a resident pays part of the RAD upfront, the DAP will be calculated on the remaining amount. This flexibility allows residents to tailor their payments to their financial situation.

Choosing the Best Option: RAD vs. DAP

Deciding between RAD and DAP (or a combination) depends on your financial situation and preferences. Consider the following:

  • Cash Flow: Paying the RAD can reduce ongoing costs if you have sufficient funds. If liquidity is a concern, opting for a DAP can help preserve your cash reserves.

  • Estate Planning: Paying a RAD may impact how your estate is handled upon passing, while DAP payments affect ongoing expenses. This means that the money paid as a RAD can be returned to your loved ones, helping to preserve your assets and provide for your family's future. In contrast, DAP payments are ongoing expenses and do not contribute to the value of your estate.

  • Government Support: Eligibility for government assistance can influence your decision. Services Australia's means assessment determines if you're eligible for reduced accommodation costs based on your income and assets.


Understanding RAD and DAP is crucial for making informed decisions about aged care financing. Whether you choose a lump sum RAD, a daily DAP, or a combination, consider your financial situation, long-term plans, and personal preferences. Making the right choice will ensure you manage your aged care costs effectively and maintain financial stability.

Advice Warnings & Disclaimers.

This information is intended to provide general information only and has been prepared without considering any particular person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Any general advice contained within or given during this presentation (whether orally or in writing) does not consider your objectives, financial situation or needs. Nothing in this presentation is intended to be investment, financial advice or a recommendation to invest in a financial product. Before acting on such information, you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. To the maximum extent permitted by law, we (Forward Path Advisory Pty Ltd), Joel Cleary & Rathakrishna Jeyabalasingam (Radz Je) disclaim all liability and responsibility for any direct or indirect loss or damage which may be suffered as a result of relying on anything in this blog, including any forward-looking statements. Past performance is not an indication of future performance. In particular, you should obtain professional advice before acting on the information contained in this presentation.



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