No. This would be our most common question! No one can force you to sell your home. Financially, for many the home is their main asset and, by selling, it can often provide the ability to pay lump sum fees and leave residual proceeds. However if other assets are available or the option to rent is agreeable these too can assist in meeting your fee requirements.
For those that have a ‘protected person’ or spouse remaining in the home, the home value will not come in to play in determining your fees. This often means fees can be met via other assets and will enable the home to remain.
Yes. If you choose to pay your entry fee as a lump sum and have no fees deducted from this, the RAD paid will be 100% refundable when the resident leaves the facility.
The gifting rules that apply to Centrelink also apply to Aged Care. In the event that a gift of more than $10,000 was made or transferred this will be treated as the original owner's asset for up to 5 years. Generally speaking, the need for care does not provide a time frame to make substantial gifts that will not be assessed by Aged Care. If you do decide to make a gift over $10,000 your fees will be determined based on you still having the gifted asset.
This is a hard question to answer and will depend on individual circumstances. For those who are a member of a couple they will have their status changed to ‘Separated Due to Ill Health’. This can often provide an increase to both pension’s due to a higher asset and income threshold applying.
For single recipients of Centrelink, any lump sum paid to a facility under a RAD agreement would result in that value being an exempt asset and may provide an increase to the payment.
For those not in receipt of Centrelink, making a RAD payment can often provide an opportunity to reduce assets to enable a future pension entitlement.
You have up to 28 days following the date of admission to determine your payment method, RAD / DAP or a combination of both. However it’s important to note, interest will start accruing on any agreed Entry fee / RAD from day one. This can be a very costly exercise if you have the funds available to make the RAD payment. The interest rate is set by the Government which is much higher than bank deposit rates. To avoid a fee ‘surprise’ after 28 days make sure you understand what this cost will be prior to permanent entry.
The difference between a RAD and a RAC is that a RAC is the term used when a person who is receiving Australian Government assistance with their accommodation costs makes a ‘contribution’ towards their accommodation costs (with the Australian Government also making a contribution on their behalf). RAD is the term used when the person making the lump sum payment is not eligible for Australian Government assistance and is meeting the full costs of their accommodation on their own. The RAC, minus any amounts deducted (as agreed with the facility) is refunded when the residents leaves the aged care home – just like a RAD.
A Means Tested Care fee is a Government Fee charged as an extra contribution towards the cost of care that residents may need to pay, on top of the basic fee, subject to their income and assets. This is normally determined via a Government assessment, which is why your facility won’t advise of the fee. The fee is also reassessed quarterly and may change based on the income and asset assessment. It is important Centrelink are up to date with any changes in circumstances to ensure this fee is accurate.
If you are yet to receive confirmation of what your Means Tested Fee will be prior to entering a facility may use a nominal figure until they receive confirmation of the correct fee. This should be discussed directly with the facility. There are annual and life time caps that apply to this fee.
We can provide you with a Means Tested Care Fee estimate and the differences based on the fee options you are considering.
Yes you can. If you refuse to have your income and assets assessed, you will not be eligible for government assistance to pay towards your fee and accommodation costs. Centrelink will write to you seeking income and asset information regardless of your level of pension entitlement or if you are self-funded. If information is not provided, you can be asked to pay the maximum means-tested care fees, based on the cost of your care, as well as the maximum Entry fee advertised by the care facility.
For some people this is a likely scenario and the Australian Government has recognised this. Generally speaking, a level of Centrelink pension will be received and this will go towards paying the required fees. Alternatively, the resident may be required to apply for hardship assistance via the Department of Social Services Website.