Residential aged care subsidies by Christine Hopper
Residential aged care subsidies
Residential aged care subsidies are paid to Commonwealth regulated aged care facilities to help with the costs of personal support and nursing care for residents.
Residential aged care subsidies for real care costs
Seniors are only allowed into Commonwealth regulated aged care facilities if they actually need nursing care and/or personal support for the activities of daily living.
The nursing staff actually caring for the new resident assess her care needs against the ACFI criteria set by the Commonwealth. This ACFI score determines the maximum residential aged care subsidies that the Commonwealth would pay for the individual resident.
July 2017 rates of Residential aged care subsidies
Each year the Commonwealth reviews the rates of Residential aged care subsidies. Consequently some rates of Residential aged care subsidies are adjusted slightly.
The latest review of Residential aged care subsidies resulted in no changes to the basic AFCI rates. But the Residential aged care Supplements were increased marginally effective from 1 July 2017.
An aged care resident who only needs a Low Level of assistance with the ‘Activities of Daily Living’ would attract Residential aged care subsidies of $36.65 per day. A very frail resident who cannot walk alone, might attract a High Level and thus residential aged care subsidies of $110.55 per day.
Additional subsidies are payable for specific extra needs. Residents needing Complex Health Care attract further subsidies of up to $67.32 per day. The Complex Health Care and Behaviour subsidy rates did not change in July 2017.
Former Veterans and aged care residents needing ongoing oxygen supplies are eligible for specific Residential Aged Care Supplements. These Supplements are added to the Basic Residential aged care subsidies to determine the total Residential aged care subsidies for an individual resident.
Residential aged care subsidies reflected in means tested care fees
The amount of any Residential aged care subsidies is reduced by the amount that the aged care resident is required to pay for her care. The full rate of Residential aged care subsidies is paid by the government for a senior who has only the Age Pension as income and less than $47,500 of assessed assets.
No Residential aged care subsidies are paid for self-funded retirees who have not disclosed their full wealth to Centrelink to have a Means Tested Care Fee amount calculated. The Residential aged care subsidies could be reduced for aged care residents who have significant assets and/or more income than the full Age Pension.
The amount that an individual resident must contribute for her personal support and nursing care is set as her Means Tested Care Fee. Centrelink calculate her Means Tested Care Fee based on her personal asset and income position. But her actual care fee cannot be higher than the ACFI assessed cost of her personal support and nursing care.
Residential aged care subsidies reduced by Means Tested Care Fee
The Residential aged care subsidies are reduced by the resident’s Means Tested Care Fee. But the amount of Means Tested Care Fee required is capped by both the costs of care and the Annual and Lifetime Caps on Care Fees.
Consider Roy a retired public servant who just needs a Low Level of personal support and nursing care in a residential aged care facility. Roy had sold his former home to pay for his aged care accommodation as a lump sum. His Means Tested Fee is calculated as $60 per day. But the aged care facility is only entitled to $36.65 per day for Roy’s care. So Roy pays the $36.65 as his daily care fee. No Residential aged care subsidies are payable in respect of Roy until he reaches his Lifetime Cap on Means Tested Care Fees.
Roy’s cousin Molly had never had superannuation. Molly sold her modest home to pay for her aged care accommodation and keep a little in the bank for clothes and treats. Molly has been assessed as able to pay a Means Tested Care Fee of $5.00 per day. So Molly will pay the first five dollars of her personal support and nursing costs. Then the Commonwealth will reduce its Residential aged care subsidies for Molly by five dollars per day.
Read more about the Means Tested Care Fees.
So how much Residential aged care subsidies would my mother get?
The amount of Residential aged care subsidies for an individual depends on her care needs, her assets and income and how much she has already paid in means tested care fees. Thus the calculation of care fees and Residential aged care subsidies is complex.
Financial Care Services your independent financial advisor
Help is available. Christine at Financial Care Services understands the DVA Pensions and Centrelink assessment of the means tested amount for aged care both home care and residential aged care.
A consultation with Financial Care Services helps you understand your potential aged care costs together with the DVA and Centrelink implications of rearranging your assets, leasing or selling the former home.
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Call Christine on 03 9808 0338 to make an appointment for a consultation. Please email your enquiry to receive a Financial Care Services Financial Services Guide and Aged Care Data Checklist.
Assistance with completing the Commonwealth aged care means testing forms is available to clients of Financial Care Services.
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Arrange an appointment for further confidential, independent and professional advice about aged care, assisted living, DVA, Centrelink, lifestyle or financial issues please contact Christine Hopper 03 9808 0338.
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. © 2017 Financial Care Services Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.