September 30, 2015

Vol 5 Ed 9

Volume 5 Edition 9 Financial Care Services Newsletter

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Independent aged care, lifestyle and financial advice for seniors
Volume 5 Edition 9 –30 September 2015


Celebrate spring with a small increase in Pension rates

A small increase indexation has been applied to the DVA and Centrelink income support payments effective from 20 September 2015.  The adjustment factor of 0.8% reflects the slow growth in price inflation for the first half of 2015  as measured by the Consumer Price Index.

The maximum amount that Centrelink could pay to a Single person as DSP or Age Pension increased to $867.00 per fortnight including the Supplements effective 20 September 2015.
The means tests would allow an Age Pensioner to retain her Pensioner Concession Card provided that her assessed income did not exceed $1,736.80 per fortnight, $45,100 per year, and her Assets, excluding her home, did not exceed $730,400.

Remember that if either the Income Test or the Assets Test, reduces your Age Pension entitlement below one dollar per fortnight then you are not paid any DSP or Age Pension and hence you are not eligible for the Pension Supplement or the Pensioner Concession Card.

A Pensioner couple living at home together could receive a maximum of $653.50 each per fortnight including Supplements.
But if one, or both, members of a ‘couple at Centrelink’ have entered permanent residential aged care then both members of the ‘couple separated by illness’ could be eligible for the Single rate of Age Pension but adjusted under the couples means testing.

DVA Pensions for veterans and spouses
DVA pay the Service Pension to veterans at the same rates and subject to the same means testing as the Age Pension.

The DVA War Widow Pension increased marginally on 20 September together with the Income Support Supplement, ISS, for War Widows with fewer financial resources.

Read more about the 20 September 2015 Pension increase and the new cut-off levels for that last dollar per fortnight of Pension.

Help is available. Financial Care Services offers a special $99 Short Consultation to illustrate how much DSP , Service or Age Pension you would receive based on your personal data.

To prepare for your Age Pension Short Consultation email now for the Financial Care Services Age Pension Data form. You will also receive the Financial Care Services Financial Services Guide including the Financial Care Services Privacy Policy.

Please remember that Centrelink, or DVA, will determine eligibility for and the amounts of any DSP, Age or Service Pension based on the regulations in force at the time of your application.

Small changes in aged care fees

The fee scales for Commonwealth residential aged care are linked to the Age Pension rates. Thus the small increase in the Age Pension rates has resulted in an increase in the Basic Daily fee, the Maximum Accommodation Supplement and the changeover thresholds in the Means Tested Amount formula.

The Basic Daily fee increased to $47.86 from $47.49 effective 20 September 2015.
Read about the other changes to means tested residential aged are fees.

The system of  means tested  fees and accommodation charges for aged care is complex.

Help is available. Christine at Financial Care Services is experienced with the complex web of Accommodation cost and daily fees for aged care and the interaction with Age Pension rules.

Before you commit to placing a family member in Commonwealth regulated residential aged care consult Financial Care Services about the options and fee levels. Call Christine on 03 9808 0338 to arrange a Consultation to discuss your family member’s position.

To prepare for your Aged Care Entry Consultation email now for the Financial Care Services Aged Care Checklist.  You will also receive the Financial Care Services Financial Services Guide including the Financial Care Services Privacy Policy.

Seniors Supplement Discontinued

Holders of the Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card no longer receive a significant payment from the Commonwealth each quarter. If you were expecting the regular payment to be credited to your bank account in September 2015 then do not blame your bank. As announced long ago, and recently agreed by the Federal parliament, the Senior Supplement is no more.

But there is still a small payment credited because the Energy Supplement continues for eligible Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card holders.  The Energy Supplement is a fixed, non-indexed, payment of $366.60 per year for a Single or $275.60 per person per year for a member of a couple at Centrelink.

Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card holders are still eligible for the Concession rates for PBS medicines and the MyPost postage concession card from Australia Post. Individual medical practitioners might choose to bulk bill Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card holders.

Please remember that Centrelink, will determine eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card based on the regulations in force at the time of your application.

Financial Care Services is an independent aged care financial advisory service specialising in aged care entrants and retirees with modest financial resources.

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 confidential, independent and professional advice about Centrelink, lifestyle or financial issues please contact Christine Hopper  or call 03 9808 0338.


Financial Care Services

Christine Hopper

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
Authorised Representative Number
252529 (check this at

Telephone – call +61 3 9808 0338
Email – contact
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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