Assessable assets and accommodation contribution

Trying to get my head around all this for my mum who has been ACAT approved for high care residential aged care ? we’re now researching aged care facilities and trying to decide where she’ll live.
We’re in Sydney, so RADs start at $300,000 and anything decent (single room with ensuite) is $500,000+. Mum’s assets are just above the $171,000 (?) limit for assistance on the accommodation cost, which means she’ll need to pay the full RAD or DAP. On a daily DAP of say $70 and canny investment of her current asset total her money will be drained in 6 or 7 years, which might well be long enough given her rapid health deterioration.
Question 1 -
Once mum’s assessable assets fall below the magic $171,000 (or whatever number it is) she will begin to be eligible for assistance on the daily DAP ? does DHS work this out themselves progressively over time, or will we need to get a fresh income and assets assessment done periodically?
Question 2 -
Once mum’s assessable assets fall below the means tested limit (roughly $49,000 I think) does that mean her daily DAP will be fully covered by the government?
Just trying to understand what might happen if she lives longer than her current assets will last, based on the DAP being paid on an ongoing basis. Thanks in advance

Hi mcgree1923,If a person has income below $27,730 and assets below $50,500 the Australian government will pay your accommodation costs in an aged care home. And there will be no means tested fee. However everyone regardless of whether they are subsidised or not has to pay the basic daily care fee which is paid either fortnightly or monthly to the aged care home and covers meals, laundry, cleaning and facility management costs. This is currently set at $52.25/day or $19,071.25 per year. It is calculated at 85 % of the single rate age pension and is indexed with the pension on 20 March and 20 September each year. Regardless of whether you pay for your accommodation or not everyone entering aged care has to agree in writing to a room price and aged care homes must publish their room rates and are not permitted to charge higher than the published maximum room rate. Just remember that if your mother’s financial position changes then her fees can change. eg if you are no longer living in the family home as a protected person then the house will be included in her assets assessment. If you sell the family home the full value will be assessed and can then have a potential impact on her pension and may incur a means tested fee. If you keep the family home vacant then the house value will be capped at $171,535.20 (as of 20 March 2020) for the Income and Assets assessment. If you have concerns I suggest you call the Department Human Services Income and Assets division on 1800 227 475 to help clarify your mother’s situation.

Topic: Govt Subsidy of Accommodation Costs.
Is there a maximum subsidy amount and do we pay any DAP above this ?Received a Residential Aged Care Fees assessment letter which stated: “There will be no means tested care fee and we will pay your accommodation” However I’ve also noted that the max subsidy is currently $58-19 ?Mum is in a high-care dementia facility with a RAD/DAP of $625000 / $83-73 (at a Govt-subsidised care home)Do we need to cover the shortfall ?Total assets assessed at $23500. Mums family home was excluded from the asset test as I was deemed a protected person.
Thanks for any clarification,

Thank you Jill for your reply, I will give them a call next week. I have also emailed our solicitor to see if they can clarify things for me.Regard

Hi BabsS,
Im sorry to hear of your husbands situation. A difficult time for you both. Given that your situation is not straighforward I would suggest that you first call the Department Human Services/ Centrelink Income and Assets division on 1800 227 475before you send the form. They should be able to help clarify your situation and guide you with any issues around filling in your husbands application. If you require further assistance perhaps a specialist aged care financial adviser would be helpful. From personal experience whilst there is a cost involved they can save you money in the long term and help reduce the emotional stress involved in sorting out the complexities of aged care finances.

Hi I am new to all of this. My husband is in aged care because he was severely brain damaged when hit by a bus in July last year. His daily care fee is covered by TAC. However we received various payment of accrued annual leave and LSL etc which I paid off our mortgage. I had some money put aside to buy a new car as my current one is 25 years old and unreliable as I will be driving more.My husband went into care in February and I have only just completed the form to send to Centrelink. On paper at the time he entered care our assets are quite high but that is not now the case. I am about to post the form but I am not sure now if I have filled it in correctly.Will the lump sum amounts be taken as income. We currently receive a loss of earning payment from TAC until my husband reaches retirement age next year. I have a guardianship order from VCAT which allows me to sell our homeill be able to come home for weekends and special occasions. This is quite a unique situation I feel as it is not the normal aged care scenario. Help and advice would be so welcome as I

Thank you Jill, much appreciated

Hi retrobyte,Yes my understanding is that once your mother’s assets fall below the minimum threshold of $50,500 then she will become a fully supported resident. However she will need to submit another Income and Assets assessment to Department Human Services so that her funding can be reviewed and altered accordingly.RegardsJill

Thanks Jill, appreciate your comments and the information. I’m across most of all that already, and my mum doesn’t have a home to sell so the main question I have is if she moves into residential aged care and pays the full DAP (which she will need to do because she has slightly more than $171,535.20 in assets at the moment, once her assets are drained to below $50,500 (after paying the DAP for a few years) does that mean the entire DAP will be covered by the government.

Hi retrobyte,Aged care finances are not straight forward (often confusing) and vary for each individual depending on their circumstances.According to the government if you have income below $27,730 and assets below $50,500 the government will pay your accommodation costs.If you have assets above $171,535.20 or income above $70,090 you will need to pay the full cost of your accommodation negotiated and agreed to by the aged care home. Once your assets or income fall below these levels you will be eligible for some assistance by the government for accommodation fees.Also remember that if you use a RAD or RAC for accommodation fees that will be included as an asset for aged care purposes but not for pension purposes and in many cases RADs can be negotiated. You cannot be charged more than the maximum published price. Also the accommodation price can vary depending on what type of room you choose. Everyone entering residentilal aged care must agree to the room price in writing. There are annual and lifetime con the means tested fee - the maximum an aged care home can charge you is $28,087.41/year and $67,409.85 in a lifetime. Any income tested fee that you paid whilst receiving a Home care package will also be counted towards the annual and life time caps when you move into residential aged care. Depending on what stage you are at in organising your mother’s aged care accommodation it is worth thinking about if you should sell the family home or keep and rent it out - decisions that can impact on her fees and Income and Asset assessment. If your assets change then you can apply to have your income and assets reassessed. My understanding is that it is not done automatically by DHS. You can call their Income and Assets division on 1800 227 475 to clarify this. Due to the complexities of aged care finances we always recommend that people get advice from a specialist aged care financial adviser to best work out the most advantageous way of organising their finances during their stay in residential aged care s around whether to sell the family home, asset levels, gifting etc. I hope this helps.


Hi retrobyte and JillIf you’re mum’s assets are say less than $10k above the $171000, can you get your mum to spend some of the money on furniture for her new room in the aged care facility, if that was allowed. Perhaps one of those remote controlled beds or a Lazyboy lift up chair, none of those are cheap, but she’s better of to have it then the government. I’m not sure what’s she’s allowed to gift away, but anything above what is allowed will still be counted in with her assets as I understand it. Might be worth finding out.I also have a question for Jill about the annual cap for the daily care fee which I understand is around $28000, once that amount is reached do you still have to pay something, or will it be zero ? I understand that’s on top of the RA