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Evan's Corner: Aged care and Centrelink

Evan Lowenstein

Evan's Corner: Aged care and Centrelink

Written by: 
Evan Lowenstein

Aged care and Centrelink

With our aging population, some of the most frequent questions that we get asked about are the issues around Aged Care and related Centrelink entitlements for the aged.

Like everything nowadays, making financial provision for aged care is an extremely complicated area with lots of information available from various agencies that one needs to distil, often in a very short space of time.

We thought it may be a good idea to give you some basic information.

For those entering an Australian government provided aged care facility, there are two types of payments:

  • Basic Daily fee which is charged by the home in order to meet normal living requirements.
  • Accommodation fee which is charged by the home. In some cases the government may subsidise that amount, subject to means testing.

There may also be some additional fees charged for additional services or higher level of care.

The accommodation fee or payment as it is now known, can be in the form of a refundable accommodation deposit (RAD). In previous years this was known as the bond.

The RAD is a lump sum payment that is usually derived from the sale of the family home or sale of other assets. These funds are invested by the aged care facility and the interest is used to finance the individual’s care. It is a refundable bond, should the person find other accommodation or die, in which case the bond is refunded to the estate.

If you don’t want to buy into the home, then there is a rental option available called the Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP). The DAP is a rental-type payment. Instead of paying for your accommodation in full (as a RAD) an ongoing daily payment can be selected.

There is also the possibility of a combination of the above financing options.

Centrelink 
Centrelink provides subsidies to those who meet the eligibility criteria. They provide subsidies for both the living expenses and the initial contribution to purchasing accommodation. Centrelink benefits are paid subject to means testing which involves a detailed analysis of income and assets of the client.
Means testing  tables can be found on the Centrelink website: 
https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/aged-care-means-test-assessments

Other useful resources:
My Aged Care 
1800 200 422 
www.myagedcare.gov.au

Department Of Human Services
1800 227 475
www.humanservices.gov

For more information please contact either Lyn Faulkner:
lyn@lowensteins.com.au or Evan Lowenstein.
 

Disclaimer
Lowensteins can provide guidance, but specific advice to the extent that it constitutes financial advice must be sought by a licensed financial advisor.