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Your top 3 questions answered

Our Lifestyle and Care advisers often continue to assist for many months after residents become permanent when Centrelink issues are involved.

Here, we address three of the most common questions our advisers are asked by facility managers and admission officers during the initial phase of this process.

We’ll also be running a webinar on this topic on Thursday 6th August at 1pm.

1. When admitting a pensioner couple who own a home and not much else, what is the advantage of admitting them on different days?

A resident’s status, low means or RAD payer, is determined on their ‘day of entry’ and remains fixed for the duration of their stay unless they change facilities or leave the system for 28 days or more.

Consequently, if you admit one member of a pensioner couple while their partner is still living at home (or in respite) and their combined assessable income is below $54,641.60 p.a. and combined assets, excluding their home, are less than $343,070.40, the first to enter residential care will generally be assessed as a low means resident. This is because the partner who is still living in the home will be considered a ‘protected person’ so the home will be excluded from the age care asset assessment.

However, when their partner is subsequently admitted, even on the following day, unless another protected person remains living in the home, their partner will be assessed as a RAD payer – assuming the value of the home is equal to or greater than $343,070.40.

Each member of the couple will then have the capped value of the home (currently $171,535.20) included in their aged care asset assessment.

The low means resident will then have their daily accommodation contribution (DAC) increased to the facility’s maximum accommodation supplement (MAS). They may also be required to pay a means tested care fee, but they will remain a low means resident, not a RAD payer.

 

2. We have a family member wanting to move his mother into our extra services facility and her son has agreed to pay all her fees.  Can this be done?

If his mother has limited assets and income, she may well be assessed as a fully supported low means resident on her day of entry to permanent residential care. If this happens, you won’t receive any accommodation supplement because accommodation supplements aren’t payable to extra services facilities. As such, you won’t be able to accept either a RAD/DAP or a DAC/RAC – you can’t charge a RAC greater than your accommodation supplement and you can’t accept a RAD from a low means resident.

Given these circumstances, it is imperative that his mother is assessed as a RAD payer and not a low means resident. Therefore, prior to admitting her to permanent care, you need to ensure she will be assessed as a RAD payer on the day you admit her to permanent care. Our Alteris advisers are always available to assist with this process.

We also recommend you refer this case to a specialist aged care legal practitioner to arrange personal guarantees from the son and/or some other form of security.

 

3. Can Centrelink re-assess a resident’s status if prior gifting is discovered during the admission process?

Centrelink and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) allow both an individual and a couple to gift money and/or other assets up to the value of $10,000 in a financial year but limited to $30,000 over five financial years. Although there is no limit to the amount that can be gifted, amounts in excess of these limits are assessed by Centrelink/DVA as ‘deprived assets’ for five years from the date of the gift.

Client’s files are reviewed by Centrelink when someone moves to residential care and, if a prior transaction is assessed as a gift, Centrelink will likely re-assess their status, care fees and pension entitlements retrospectively to their date of entry. This is a potential trap for the aged care provider to be avoided at all costs.

Encouraging residents’ nominated representatives to contact a specialist Alteris Lifestyle and Care adviser prior to admission can pay dividends for both the resident, their family and the aged care provider. Our advisers are more than happy to speak to facility managers, admissions officers and/or the potential residents’ nominated representatives prior to admission and there is no charge for a phone call.

 

What’s next? Join our webinar

We’ll discuss these questions and share some real-life examples to help you navigate the admission process by having a better appreciation of the Centrelink/DVA assessment methodology.

We’ll also highlight some tips and traps for team members responsible for resident admissions.

There will be plenty of time to answer all of your questions too so join us:

Thursday, 6th August 2020

1:00pm – 1:45pm AEST

From the last webinar …

Read the detailed answers to the quiz as well as answers to the most common questions from attendees during our last webinar on the topic of Assessing the former home when moving to permanent residential care.