Accommodation Costs for new High Care residents

Accommodation Costs for direct entrants to Residential Aged Care in standard nursing homes

By Christine Hopper

Standard nursing homes levy a daily Accommodation Charge

Standard nursing homes may ask new entrants to aged care for a daily Accommodation Charge.  You cannot be asked for a lump sum payment, or Accommodation Bond, for a standard nursing home place if you are entering direct from your own home.

The maximum amount that a potential new resident can be asked to pay for accommodation in a residential aged care facility is prescribed by the Commonwealth.

The amount that you could be asked to pay for accommodation in an aged care facility is based on your ‘assessed assets’ as calculated under the Commonwealth’s rules.

For a single person who was living alone, ‘assessed assets’ is usually the total value of all of their assets including their home.  The rules for potential aged care residents who are part of a ‘couple at Centrelink’ or who shared a home are complex.  The next section on Assessed Assets provides some clues.  You can read about “Who is a couple at Centrelink” at http://www.financialcareservices.com.au/newsletters/vol-1-ed-3

Need help with estimating your assessed assets just call Christine (03) 9808  0338 at Financial Care Services to arrange an appointment. 

Commonwealth subsidized places for Fully Supported and Partially Supported Residents

People with ‘assessed assets’ of not more than $40,500 (April 2012) are not required to contribute to the costs of their nursing home accommodation.  The Commonwealth pays a small subsidy to the facilities in respect of each of these ‘Fully Supported Residents’.

New entrants to aged care with ‘assessed assets’ of more than $40,500 but less than $108,267 (April 2012) are required to make a small contribution to the costs of their nursing home accommodation.  The Commonwealth pays a lower subsidy to the facilities in respect of each of these ‘Partially Supported Residents’.  New Partially Supported nursing home residents in April 2012, would pay a daily Accommodation Charge of less than $32.58.

If you think that you qualify as a Fully Supported Resident or a Partially Supported Resident then you must complete the Permanent Residential Aged Care Request for an Assets Assessment (a blue and white A4 booklet containing 20 pages of Questions) and send it to Centrelink.  Help is available just call Christine 03 9808 0338 at Financial Care Services to arrange an appointment. 

Centrelink respond by mailing an Asset Assessment Certificate which you can show to your preferred aged care facility.  Note that an aged care facility must not allocate a Supported Resident bed to a new resident before receiving a copy of an Asset Assessment Certificate that qualifies that new entrant for a Fully or Partially Supported Resident place.

Non Supported Residents pay the maximum rate of Accommodation Charge

A new entrant to aged care who becomes a permanent Non Supported Resident in a Standard High Care place in April 2012 would pay a daily Accommodation Charge of $32.58 provided that their ‘assessed assets’ exceeds $108,266.

The Commonwealth does not insist that potential Non Supported Resident submit a Permanent Residential Aged Care Request for an Assets Assessment.

But the nursing home must be given either an Asset Assessment Certificate or a signed statement confirming that the new Non Supported Resident has ‘assessed assets’ of at least $108,267 for a standard High Care place.

The Accommodation Charge is just a part of the cost of living in a nursing home.  Coming soon –Daily fees for residential aged care.

For a personal overview of the nursing home fees applicable to your family member or help with estimating your assessed assets just call Christine 03 9808 0338 at Financial Care Services to arrange an appointment.