Aged Care How Does it Work_

How does aged care work in Australia

In Australia, there is a growing demand for aged care services. But, how does the process actually work?

Residential aged care includes accommodation as well as personal and medical care 24/7. In general, the aged care industry utilises different staff and health professionals who come together in order to provide the best care for an elderly individual who may also have additional high care needs such as dementia.

While we know most people would prefer to stay in their own home as long as they can, Scalabrini is available for support when this is no longer possible.

There are a few steps that need to be covered before we’re able to accept your loved one as one of our aged care residents:

• Assessment:

Individuals can apply through MyAgedCare for the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) to approve someone based on the level of care and support they require. This is called the AN-ACC (Aged Care Funding Instrument) assessment where permanent aged care residents receive funding based on the determined level of care needed.

• Choosing a Provider:

It’s important after an assessment to research different aged care providers and their offerings to see if they suit your needs. If you have any questions about Scalabrini as a provider, please contact us at 1800 722 522 or enquiries@scalabrini.com.au

• Care Plan:

In conjunction with aged care and medical staff, the resident and their loved ones, a care plan is formed which outlines the medical needs and timings for an individual resident to ensure they get the support they need.

• Funding:

The price for residential aged care varies. There is a basic daily fee which is the same for all residents and is means tested by the Government. At Scalabrini, you can choose if you’d like to submit to a Combined Assets and Income Assessment. This assessment will help the Government determine what funding you maybe be eligible to receive based on your unique circumstances. This comprises a list of your assets and income which is assessed by the Department of Human Services. Depending upon your personal situation you may be classified as a ‘Fully Supported Resident’ or a ‘Partially Supported Resident’ and receive some financial assistance from the Government. It can take up to 6 weeks to receive the results of the assessment so you’re encouraged to complete this in advance before applying for care.

However, if you do not submit to the Combined Assets and Income Assessment, you’ll be charged the maximum price for the means tested care fee and accomodation price once your AN-ACC (Aged Care Funding Instrument) assessment has been received by the Department of Social Services. Then, there can also be additional costs for extra services that an aged care facility may provide such as in-house physiotherapy or podiatry.

For more information of the costs for residents at Scalabrini, please contact our staff who can answer your questions.

• Application:

The next step is to apply and move into the aged care facility of your choice.

If you have any questions or need some guidance through this journey, please contact our helpful staff today at 1800 722 522 or enquiries@scalabrini.com.au

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Assets and Income Assessment

Before beginning care at Scalabrini or any other aged care home, you’ll need to complete an assets and income assessment. This test allows the Department of Human Services to determine whether you are eligible for financial assistance for aged care accommodation. It also determines whether you need to pay a means-tested care fee.

How to apply for income and assets assessment

You’ll need to contact the Department of Human Services (DHS) for an ‘Aged care fees income assessment form to begin your income and assets test. You can request the form:

  • Online
  • By visiting your local Centrelink office
  • By calling Human Services on 1800 227 475 or the Department of Veteran’s Affairs on 133 254 and requesting the form in the post

If you’re currently receiving an Australian pension, the government will already have some of your information and you’ll only need to complete some parts of the form. If you are not paid a pension, you’ll have to complete the entire form.

Information you’ll need

The income and assets assessment tests a range of factors to determine your overall financial situation. In aged care, income is captured under a much wider net than regular taxable income and is not considered to be the same.

When undergoing the income and assets test, you will be assessed on:

  • Assets such as bank accounts, bonds, shares, cash and gold
  • Income support payments, including those received from overseas (pension, disability payments etc.)
  • Deemed income from investments
  • Net income from rental properties and businesses
  • Superannuation
  • Income stream products such as annuities
  • Family trust distributions or dividends from private company shares
  • Deemed income from excess gifting

Investments that do not earn income are also assessed, such as:

  • Holiday homes or other real estate
  • Life insurance policies
  • Cars, boats, motorcycles and caravans
  • Your home and contents

For more detail on exactly what’s assessed during the income and assets test, visit the My Aged Care website.

Reducing aged care fees with the income and asset assessment

You need to complete an income and assets assessment to be eligible for any accommodation subsidies from the Australian Government. Financial support for aged care costs is something most older Australians will find themselves eligible for. There is no real downside to completing the test – the time it takes to complete the assessment is well worth the money saved.

Feel free to call us at Scalabrini for more information about the Assets and Income Assessment.