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10 Things you need to know about Aged Care – Part 1

1.The home doesn’t necessarily have to be sold to move into aged care.

When someone moves into permanent aged care, it is generally thought that the home has to be sold. This is not always the case, and no one can force you to sell the home.

The financial situation of the person moving into care will determine ‘if’ the home needs to be sold. The family will need to consider if a spouse, carer or close family member will remain in the home (and count as a protected person). In some cases, it may be viable to keep the home and use alternative strategies to ensure the costs of aged care are met.

2. The family home doesn’t always count towards the aged care assessment when calculating fees.

When someone close to you is moving into aged care, there is a lot to consider. One thing that seems to come up a lot is ‘who can be classified as a protected person’ and what to do to have this recognised as part of the assessment.

When calculating ‘assessable’ assets for aged care, it is important we consider the financial and personal circumstances of an individual entering care to determine if the home is counted. Below is a quick chart to help determine whether or not the home is counted.

Situation of person moving into home Is the home exempt?
Single person living aloneNo – The home will be counted at either the value of the home or the capped value* for the home (whichever is lower)
Couple – One entering Care Yes – Home is exempt while spouse remains in home.
Couple – Both entering CareMaybe – If one person enters care prior to the other, the home could be exempt initially for the first member of the couple moving in, until the second member of the couple move in.
CarerInitially, the home will be exempt until the person moves into care.  The home will then become assessable at the home cap*.
(Could be used to make a resident ‘partially supported rather than ‘full fee paying resident’)
Close Family MemberIf the close family member has been living in the home for 5 or more years and are ‘eligible’ for a Centrelink payment.

*Capped Value (valid till 30 March 2020) is $169,079.

3. If both my parents move into aged care, is it always better to move one in first to be seen as partially supported?

Sometimes, when exempting the home is a choice, it isn’t always financially, the best option.

This has to do with the current interest rate charged compared to the Maximum Daily Accommodation Contribution payable.

Depending on the costs of the rooms at the facility and the financial situation of the person entering care will determine the best course of action when moving in. As this can be a complex question to answer, it is best to speak with a qualified financial adviser to discuss further.

4. If I pay the Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD), am I going to lose my money to the Government?

A RAD is 100% refundable upon the resident moving out of care or passing away (refundable to the estate), minus any costs you ‘choose’ to take out of the RAD.

This means if you were to pay a $400,000 RAD, and chose not to deduct any costs from this while in care, the full $400,000 would be refundable to you if you leave the facility, or to your estate upon your passing.  This is generally repaid to your estate within 14 days of grant of probate.

5. For couples, if one or both are entering care, your Centrelink rate of payment is likely to increase.

As a couple, the current maximum rate of pension received is $704.50 pf each.  If one or both move into care you may be seen as separated due to ill health. This occurs even where you both move into a shared room in the same aged care facility.  Under the ‘separated due to ill health’ assessment, you could receive up to $933.40 pf each (depending on your income and assets).

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1 Comment

  1. Hannelore McPherson on April 17, 2020 at 9:37 am

    Thank you Kate and Zac, this information is very helpful and it is comforting to know that we have staff at Muirfield who can inform us about rules and regulations and law at this vulnerable stage of our lives.

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