Whilst specialist Aged Care costs are funded largely by the Federal Government, you may be required to make a Co-contribution to that cost. This is an additional contribution towards the cost of care that some people may be required to pay. The Department of Human Services will work out if you are required to pay this fee based on an assessment of your income and assets, and will advise you of the amount.
Everyone entering an aged care home for the first time from 1 July 2014 will need to complete and lodge an income & assets assessment form which will be used to determine the costs. You must lodge this form even if you currently receive a means tested income support payment from Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (such as the Aged Pension or the Service Pension).
There are annual and lifetime caps that apply to the means tested care fee. Once these caps are reached, you cannot be asked to pay any more means tested care fees. The Co-contribution may be up to $28,338.71 per annum, subject to a $68,012.98 Lifetime Cap.
Calculating the amount payable for your Co-contribution to care, and deciding how best to pay for your accommodation is complex, with implications for pension eligibility and tax. You are likely to benefit from specialist Financial Advice.