Vol 5 Ed 4
Volume 5 Edition 4 Newsletter
FINANCIAL CARE SERVICES
Independent aged care, lifestyle and financial advice for seniors
Volume 5 Edition 4 –30 April 2015
Aged Care Fee Indexation
All residents of Commonwealth regulated aged care facilities expect to pay the Basic Daily fee. This fee is set at 85% of the Single person rate of Age Pension. Therefore the Basic Daily fee increased when the Age Pension increased on 20 March 2015. The Basic Daily fee is currently $47.49 per day for respite and permanent residents.
Pre-July 2014 aged care residents Income Tested Fee
For aged care residents who entered permanent care before July 2014, the maximum Income Tested Fee increased marginally to $75.42 per day effective from 20 March 2015.
The Income Tested fees for residents with more income than a full Age Pensioner will be adjusted effective 20 March 2015 to take account of the small increase in the Income Allowance for calculating the Income Tested Fees.
Residents entering permanent care from July 2014
For residents who entered permanent aged care from July 2014, the Maximum Accommodation Supplement payable by the Commonwealth in respect of aged care residents with very few financial or other resources also increased on 20 March 2015.
The Commonwealth could now pay $53.39 per day for the Accommodation costs of a recent aged care entrant who has assets of under $46,000 and the full Age Pension for income.
The Means Tested Amount could also be adjusted for aged care residents who have more than $46,000 of assets and/or more income then a full rate Age Pensioner could have.
Each of the crossover points in the beautiful Means Tested Amount formula have been increased marginally. The notional value of an unoccupied former home has been increased marginally, also. The result for a homeowner is the same: you need to pay the full cost of your aged care Accommodation if you still own your, now vacant, former home.
The indexation of the Means Tested Amount crossover points is unlikely to change your daily Care Fee significantly.
But the indexation increase to the Annual Cap on Care Fees means that if you are being charged a very high Care Fee then you could be paying Care fees for some additional days before you reach the increased Annual Cap of $25,528.71.
Remember that the Annual Cap applies to the Care Fees for the first 365 days that you are receiving care. On day 366 of your care, you will start a new Care year; your Care fees would resume until you reached the Annual Cap for your second year in care.
The system of aged care fees, charges and accommodation costs is complex. The value of your home and any residential aged care accommodation deposits are treated differently for aged care and DVA, DSP and Age Pensions.
Help is available. Financial Care Services helps clients understand the financial implications of residential aged care and develop a strategy to generate the cash flow needed.
Financial Care Services is an independent aged care financial advisory service specialising in aged care entrants and Centrelink Pensions.
Financial Care Services core value in financial advice is to assist with your money plan in the responsible management of your assets to generate the cash flow needed for your lifetime planning.
Christine at Financial Care Services understands both the DVA and Centrelink Pensions systems and the Commonwealth aged care fee arrangements.
If you would like further confidential, independent and professional advice about Centrelink, lifestyle or financial issues please contact Christine Hopper 03 9808 0338.
When your eyesight is fading
When your eyesight is fading then you could become unsafe on the roads.
Sadly that means that you must cease driving a motor vehicle in Victoria if you cannot see across an arc of 120 degrees.
You also need good clarity acuity to read the signs, see who else is on the road and judge their speed.
If you your vision field contracts so that you cannot see that child on the kerb then you should cease driving before you have a catastrophe.
Immediately you have a vison problem or eye injury, such that you lose the sight of one eye, you need to stop driving for three months whilst you adjust to being one-eyed. After losing the sight of one eye, you might be allowed to resume driving your own car provided that your good eye has a full vision field and your poor eye does not distract your good eye.
Many seniors have insufficient vision to be licensed to drive a motor vehicle but much better vision than a ‘legally blind’ person could have. As your eyesight fades you might like to learn about public transport in your area.
Remember it is illegal in Victoria for a ‘legally blind‘ person to drive a motor vehicle.
A legally blind person is entitled to Travel Pass for free public transport in metropolitan Melbourne. Other States have similar arrangements.
The Age Pension and DSP for younger people, are not subject to any financial means testing when the Pensioner is ‘legally blind’. Centrelink applies the standard financial ‘means testing’ and ‘activity/work’ conditions for Pensions and Newstart benefits to both customers who have only low vision and customers with good vision.
While you still have good eyesight
While you still have good eyesight, please be considerate of your low vision friends.
You might need to be the one who tells your friend to hand in her Driver’s Licence because she cannot see well enough to be a safe driver. Please do not dither until your friend has a serious mishap and her Licence is taken from her.
An invitation for a low vision friend to join your party is not really an invitation if your vision impaired friend cannot travel to the meeting point without your help. Therefore, always include an offer of transport assistance in your invitation please. You could arrange to meet your blind friend at a railway station on her train line; you could then go to the theatre together on public transport.
Guide dogs for the vision impaired and other canine assistants, are welcome at Financial Care Services.
Please ensure that these dogs and their handlers are welcomed wherever you meet them. Canine assistants are only excluded from zoos, commercial kitchens and medical procedure facilities such as operating theatres.
Financial Care Services is an independent aged care financial advisory service specialising in Centrelink and DVA Pensions and aged care entrants.
Financial Care Services core value in financial advice is to assist with your money plan in the responsible management of your assets to generate the cash flow needed for your lifetime planning. Christine at Financial Care Services understands both the DVA and Centrelink Pensions systems and the Commonwealth aged care fee arrangements.
To make an appointment for professional advice, call Financial Care Services 03 9808 0338
If you would like further confidential, independent and professional advice about DVA, Centrelink, lifestyle or financial advice, please contact Christine Hopper (03) 9808 0338.
Financial Care Services Pty Ltd
Independent aged care, lifestyle and financial advice for seniors in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Australian Financial Services Licence Number
299570 (check this at www.search.asic.gov.au/fsr/flb.html)
Authorised Representative Number
252529 (check this at www.search.asic.gov.au/fsr/far.html)
Telephone – call +61 3 9808 0338
Email – contact email@example.com
Address – mail or meet at 172 Warrigal Road, Camberwell Victoria 3124
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Disclaimer: The information contained in this newsletter 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.
All eligibility for Commonwealth benefits will be determined by Centrelink or DVA, based on your personal position as documented and the legislation and Regulations in force at that time.
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