Illness separated couple - pension entitlement query

Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere but I am trying to get my head around the age pension assessment rules for an elderly illness separated couple, one of whom is remaining in their jointly owned family home. I understand that the home is not assessed for at least 2 years. My challenge is the age pension status of the couple now they are living apart.
My questions are:

  1. once I lodge the Accommodation details form (MOD AC) with Centrelink for my father (who has recently entered a nursing home on a permanent basis) will I need to also submit a MOD AC form for my step-mother who is staying put in the family home? Or will Centrelink recognise her in their client records as his partner and automatically reassess her when they reassess him?

  2. I had the impression that they would each be entitled to be assessed at the single rate of pension, based on a 50/50 split of their financial assets. However, my reading of the Social Security Act 1991 indicates that the income and asset free thresholds for single pensioners do not seem to apply to illness separated partners. Is this correct? (I can think of reasons why the threshold might be less than the single rate but I want to make sure I have interpreted this correctly.)

  3. Can I please confirm that the refundable accommodation deposit/bond is not taken into account as part of their assets once it has been paid?


Hi Sue, While provides information on aged care costs we do not cover the aged pension in detail. I think your reading of the Social Security Guide is probably correct but to clarify your parents situation I would ring Department Human Services on 132 300 which is the department dedicated to Older Australians. We always recommend that people seek specialist aged care financial advice as everyone’s circumstances are different.