Entering Commonwealth regulated aged care as a Supported Resident

Entering Commonwealth regulated aged care as a Supported Resident

by Christine Hopper

Each Supported Resident of a Commonwealth regulated aged care facility attracts an Accommodation subsidy from the Commonwealth.  The Commonwealth has a ‘budgeted amount’ to spend on these Accommodation subsided rather than an unlimited supply of cash.

Therefore, the Commonwealth endeavours to spread its Accommodation subsidy ‘budget’ to ‘asset poor’ people who are in need of residential aged care.

Who is eligible to enter Commonwealth regulated aged care as a Supported Resident?

A new entrant to Commonwealth regulated aged care whose ‘assessed assets’ do not exceed $44,000 (as at November 2013) is eligible to enter Commonwealth regulated aged care as a fully Supported Resident.

A new entrant whose ‘assessed assets’ are in the range $44,001 to $113,784 (as at November 2013) is eligible enter Commonwealth regulated aged care as a Partially Supported Resident.

However a new entrant to Commonwealth regulated aged care would not be as a Supported Resident if the person had owned a home during the preceding five years.

Assessed assets includes any ‘excess gifts’ that you and/or your partner, made during the five years before entering residential aged care.
If you had been in a granny flat arrangement for less than five years before you entered residential aged care then part of your granny flat contribution could be counted as part of your ‘assessed assets’.

Does my home count as an asset if my partner is still living there?

If you were a member of a ‘couple at Centrelink’ and your partner is continuing to live in your home then the home could be treated as an ‘exempt asset’.

Your home could be treated as an ‘exempt asset’ if a close relative or your former long term carer lives there and that person’s main source of income is a Centrelink Age Pension or Disability Support Pension or a DVA Pension.
Centrelink require lots of information for this part of the asset assessment.  Be assured that Centrelink must obtain the consent of the other person living in your home to have their Centrelink record looked at as part of your asset assessment.

Who checks that a new entrant to Commonwealth regulated aged care is eligible to be a Supported Resident?

A new entrant to Commonwealth regulated aged care as a Supported Resident must show the aged care facility a letter from Centrelink stating that the new entrant is eligible for a Supported Resident or Partially Supported Resident place.  Centrelink would issue such a letter after considering a completed “Permanent Residential Aged Care Request for an Asset Assessment” form.  The form is a booklet of 28 pages of questions requiring detailed answers about every type of asset that a resident might own.

The final section of the Request for an Asset Assessment includes “I declare that the information in this form is complete and correct.  I also understand that giving false or misleading information is a serious offence.”

A Request for an Asset Assessment must be signed by the potential aged care resident or someone authorised to sign on behalf of the new resident.  The completed form is then mailed to Centrelink together with supporting documentation.

Where are the Supported Resident places for new entrants to Commonwealth regulated aged care?

Commonwealth regulated aged care facilities each agree with the Commonwealth regarding the total number of beds that the facility could claim care subsidies for from the Commonwealth.
The facility could further agree with the Commonwealth that a set number of beds, within that total number of bed licences, would be reserved for Supported Residents.

The Commonwealth would pay an additional subsidy for each Supported Resident or Partially Supported Resident.  Therefore the Commonwealth wants to be sure that residential aged care is accessible to people in need of care who have low assets.

The Commonwealth endeavours to spread the total number of Supported Resident places across geographic areas. This geographic distribution of Supported Resident places favours the regions with higher proportions of long term renters rather than homeowners.

Aged care facilities operate separate waiting lists for Supported Resident places and
Non-Supported Residents.  The Commonwealth does not allow for Non-Supported Residents to take Supported Resident places.

Extra service aged care facilities do not provide Supported Resident places.
Only Non-Supported residents who could pay a substantial Accommodation Bond could enter an extra service facility.

Help with the Permanent Residential Aged Care Request for an Asset Assessment form

Christine Hopper at Financial Care Services assists clients review their asset position and eligibility for a Supported Resident place.  People seeking to enter Commonwealth regulated aged care as a Supported Resident usually have few assets and quite simple financial affairs.

Christine does provide assistance with completing the “Permanent Residential Aged Care Request for an Asset Assessment” form for clients who have difficulty writing answers.

Financial Care Services offers independent professional financial advice to aged care residents and their families. Financial Care Services is owned and operated by Christine Hopper and has no links to any aged care operators or other service providers.

If you would like further confidential, independent and professional advice about aged care entry, Centrelink, lifestyle or financial issues please contact Christine Hopper (03) 9808 0338.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is of a general nature only and does not constitute “financial advice”. You should obtain your own personal financial advice before investing any money or moving in to any retirement village, lifestyle community or aged care facility. Financial Care Services is licensed to provide financial advice to individual clients based on their personal situations. © 2013 Financial Care Services Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
To make an appointment for professional advice, call Financial Care Services
(03) 9808 0338