The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.1.H.90 Hostel or low level care home


This definition applies to all payments.


Hostels have a generic meaning which encompasses establishments which provide group accommodation with some communal facilities.

Example: Youth hostels, crisis accommodation for homeless people.

Residential care (1.1.R.220)

Prior to 1 July 2014 aged care homes that provided low level residential care were also often referred to as hostels. Low level care generally included accommodation and personal care, such as help with dressing and showering, together with occasional nursing care.

These differ from aged care homes providing high level residential care, often referred to as nursing homes (1.1.N.140).

For the purposes of the SSAct, a person receiving low (hostel) level care in an Australian Government funded aged care home, approved under the Aged Care Act 1997, is defined as being in residential care (1.1.C.25). This means that the care situation provisions may be applied to low level care residents.

From 1 July 2014, the distinction between low and high care no longer applies. All residential care recipients will have access to the type of residential care services that meets their needs. This means that the care situation provisions may be applied to residential care recipients.

Policy reference: SS Guide Exempting the principal home - care situations

Last reviewed: