Aged Care in Australia is not cheap. However, a lot of the cost is paid by the Government, and you only have to pay a portion.
What you will be asked to pay will depend on your level of income and assets. The way you will be asked to make a contribution toward your cost of care is via the Means-Tested Care Fee.
If you have higher levels of combined income and assets (over a specified threshold) you will pay a means-tested fee. This effectively means that you pay a higher share of the cost of your care and the government pays less.
In order to ascertain your ability to contribute toward the cost of your care, you need to complete the “Permanent Residential Aged Care – Request for a Combined Assets and Income Assessment (SA457)” form.
Why should I complete the asset assessment paperwork?
If you fail to complete the combined Income and Asset assessment form, then the Government will rule that you haven’t disclosed your means, and you will be charged the MAXIMUM annual means-tested care fee of $26,566.54 (as at 20 September 2017). This fee isn’t averaged over a year, so you will probably be subjected to a higher daily fee initially (it then ceases once the annual amount reaches $26,566.54, and then starts again the next year).
This will result in you not being eligible for any Government assistance toward the costs of your care. Therefore, by not completing the form, you may well be hit with unnecessary costs which can be in the thousands of dollars!
If you are having difficulty in understanding or completing the paperwork, seeking professional advice will go a long way toward helping you avoid paying more for your care than what you should.