Disabled Protected Person

Mother has been caring for my Autistic sister all her life and is currently living in a retirement village with my sister and owns the unit.
Soon mum will need to enter aged care. Clearly my sister qualifies as a protected person but she will not be able to care for herself. Are there any laws that allow her to use the proceeds from the retirement unit to move somewhere more suited to her needs without those proceeds being assessed as an asset for mum?

Hi Cooks,
With regards to aged care a “protected person” includes: your partner, a dependent child, an eligible carer who has been living with you in the home for the previous two years and has been receiving an Australian government income support payment or a close relative who has ben eligible for a government income support payment and has been living in the home for the past 5 years. You must continue to be in receipt of a Centrelink or DVA income support payment to qualify as a protected person. If you are a protected person it is our belief that you can stay in the house indefinitely and it will continue to be an exempt asset for the means tested fee while you reside there and retain your protected person status. I would suggest you talk to Department of Human Services on 1800 227 475 to clarify whether the protected person status changes if you go over the pension income threshold. Or you might consider talking to a specialist aged care financial adviser to make sure you protect your situation. We use Affinity Aged Care Financial Services but here are others as well. Just make sure they specialise in aged care finances.
Regards, Jill

Can you please clarify the above comment about protected persons who no longer qualify for a Centrelink payment ?"Incidentally, the protected person status now ceases when the protected person fails to meet one of the following conditions:1. Ceases to qualify for a Centrelink/DVA income support payment (eg a carer goes back to work)"This is worrying. I’m talking partner who has to go back to work for a living. Already if I earn more than the pension, I lost 50 cent per $ over, husband’s pension goes down and I pay tax to boot. Not much left.

Hi Newtome,
Aged Care 101 is not able to give financial advice but I have asked a specialist on aged care finances, Robert Craven from Affinity Aged Care Financial Services on your behalf. His view is that it is not a straight forward situation and he replied with this advice: One option which may (or may not) be realistic is if your sister is eligible (over 55 years) and management is agreeable, she could purchase the unit in the retirement village but would need to fund the difference between the new purchase price and the exit amount (after the DMF has been applied). Perhaps your family could negotiate a reduced purchase price with a higher DMF .If your sister has been living in the RV unit (or possibly the previous family home) for 5 years, is in receipt of a Centrelink income support payment and is residing there on the day that her mother moves to permanent residential care, she would be considered a protected person. Depending on your mothers other assets & income, s a Low Means resident for residential aged care purposes. However, when your sister moves out, the RV unit would be assessed at $168,351.20 and your mother would be required to pay a RAC (up to $57.14 per day) in addition to her basic daily care fee of $51.21 per day. Your mother’s pension may also be affected when the RV unit is sold. Your mother would need to retain enough RV unit sale proceeds to ensure that she never ran out of money but surplus amounts that would be available to fund your sister’s care needs. Robert said it is very difficult to consider the best outcome without knowing the full financial circumstances of both your mother and sister and your sister’s age, care needs & possible NDIS funding options. Incidentally, the protected person status now ceases when the protected person fails to meet one of the following conditions:1. Ceases to qualify for a Centrelink/DVA income support payment (eg a carer goes back to work)2. Moves out of the property (eg moves to a residential agedty, moves to live with a family member, dies or the property is sold).Aged Care 101 always recommends that people seek specialist aged care financial advice and I think given the complexities of your family’s situation you would be advised to speak with someone like Affinity who can look at all the details and finances and advise accordingly.
the agedcare101 team