Centrelink process to Aged Care

Explaining the Centrelink process when it comes to Aged Care

Centrelink process to Aged Care

Are you confused or unclear about the Centrelink process in Aged Care? 

Once you or your loved one have chosen an aged care facility and have been approved for entry into Aged Care by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT), the next step is to complete a Residential Aged Care means assessment through Centrelink. 

This is when your financial details will be collected by Services Australia (Centrelink) in order to calculate how much you will need to pay as an Aged Care resident.

Ideally, before you reach this step of the aged care process, you will have reached out to a professional aged care financial planner, like the team at Beacon, who will be able to advise on your affordability and whether or not it’s in your best interests to sell assets (like your home) before you move into aged care. 

In this article we’ll explain the Centrelink process in Aged Care, including what details you will need to provide, how to complete your assessment and what happens next. 

Download the document from the Centrelink website

The first thing you’ll need to do (if required) is to download this form. You can fill it out online, but you will still need to print and sign it before returning it to Centrelink. 

It’s important to note however, that if you don’t own a home and you already receive the Age pension, Disability Support pension, or the Department of Veteran Affairs’ payment then you may not need to complete this form. 

You are not obligated to complete this form if you don’t want to, however if you choose not to submit it, you may have to pay the maximum means tested care fee subject to annual and lifetime caps. Therefore, it is best to seek financial advice prior to submitting this form. 

What income details does Centrelink require? 

The Centrelink process in aged care involves assessment of your income details. These details include the following: 

  • Income from work 
  • Net rental income 
  • Income support payments from Centrelink 
  • Details of financial investments 
  • Superannuation balance 
  • Family trust distributions or dividends from shares
  • Income from income stream products including annuities and allocated pensions
  • Details of any gifts over the allowable amount 

What assets does Centrelink assess? 

The Centrelink process in aged care also includes an assessment of your assets. Assets are any items of value that you own such as real estate, shares, household items, and personal effects. This also includes any assets you may hold overseas. 

If you’re part of a couple, Centrelink considers you to own half of the total of the combined assets, no matter whose name the asset is under.  

When will I find out how much I need to pay?

Once Centrelink has processed your income and assets, you will receive a letter in the mail outlining how much you will need to pay for aged care. This letter is only valid for 120 days, so if you haven’t yet chosen an aged care facility, you may need to complete this form again when you’re ready to transition into aged care. 

You will also need to keep Centrelink up to date when and if you sell any assets or if your income changes. You must inform Centrelink within 14 days about any changes. You can do this through their online portal. 

Talk to Beacon about the Centrelink process in Aged Care 

The Centrelink process in aged care might seem complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. Yes, Centrelink will need to assess your income and assets in order to calculate how much you will need to pay for aged care. 

However, if you talk to the team at Beacon before you reach this stage, we’ll be able to take a look at your income and assets and provide a number of different strategies that could help to lower your aged care fees. 

This may or may not involve the sale of various assets you hold. It’s best to speak to a professional aged care financial planner before you get to the Centrelink process in aged care. 

The further in advance you plan your aged care, the more time you will have to put yourself in the best position financially when it comes time to move into aged care. 

Talk to the team at Beacon today by calling 1800 232 000.