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4.3 What is total assessable income
Total assessable income for aged care purposes includes:
- a resident's income support payment (excluding the minimum pension supplement and energy supplement); and
- their ordinary/adjusted income as per pension assessment rules. More →
Residents who do not receive an income support pension are assessed under the social security ordinary/adjusted income test.
The following variations to the ordinary/adjusted income as per pension assessment apply to aged care means testing:
all periodic compensation payments are counted as ordinary income, i.e. Compensation recovery rules do not apply,
disability pension is exempt for persons who have qualifying service or their partners regardless of whether the person receives service pension,
MRCA permanent impairment and Special Rate Disability Pension payments are exempt for members, former members and their partners,
if the resident entered care on or after 1 January 2016 and pays (or is liable to pay) a daily accommodation contribution or a daily accommodation payment, income from rental of the principal home is assessable for aged care means testing (though it is exempt for pension purposes for residents who enter care before 1 January 2017).
The minimum pension supplement is an annual rate and is paid fortnightly. From 1 July 2010, the minimum pension supplement became more flexible, with recipients able to elect to receive the payment quarterly. It is calculated as a combined couple rate and is indexed twice a year in line with CPI increases. The 'not a member of a couple' rate is 66.33% of the combined couple rate. The member of a couple rate is 50% of the combined couple rate. The minimum pension supplement commenced on 20 September 2009 and replaced utilities allowance and telephone allowance.
The energy supplement is an ongoing, regular payment designed to help recipients meet the cost of living impact of the carbon price.