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Where a DVA income support pensioner enters an aged care facility after

1 October 1997, the procedure to follow is as below.

1.Check Residential Situation screen

Access the residential situation screen for the person.  If a high or low level of care indicator is present, the person is receiving Commonwealth Government subsidised care and it is not necessary to perform the check in step 2.  Instead, proceed directly to step 3.

If no high or low indicator is present continue with step 2.

2.Check with facility

If no high or low level of care indicator is present on the residential situation screen, confirm with the facility that they are receiving a Commonwealth Government subsidy in respect of the resident.

Contact addresses and numbers for most facilities can be obtained from the Residential Care Search Screen.    More

No Commonwealth Government subsidy will be paid in respect of persons who are residing in a facility but not receiving care (co-habitees for example).  Similarly, no Commonwealth Government subsidy will be paid where the facility in which a person is receiving care is not an approved facility under the Aged Care Act 1997.

If no Commonwealth Government subsidy is paid to the facility in respect of the resident, rent assistance will continue to be payable in respect of any fees the resident pays for accommodation in that facility and additional action will be necessary at step 4 of this procedure to ensure that rent assistance is paid to the person.

In addition, any amount that the person has paid to enter the facility would be assessed as an entry contribution rather than as an accommodation bond (see step 6).

3Update residential situation

On the Residential Situation screen change the person's residential situation to suit their new circumstances.  For a person in aged care, the residential situations that are appropriate are:

nursing home;

nursing home - previous owner;

retirement village - hostel;

When one of these residential situations is entered, the person's rent assistance eligibility defaults to not payable “Client in Residential Care Facility” and the new “Accommodation Bond” field is activated.

Note:  See DI C13/98 for post 1 October 1997 changes to the residential situation screen.

4.Enable payment of RA (only if eligible)

If the resident is not receiving Commonwealth Government subsidised care, or the facility he or she has entered is not an approved aged care facility, rent assistance will be payable in respect of any fees the resident pays for residing in that facility.

In these circumstances, the “RA not payable” field needs to be updated by deleting the “Client in Residential Care Facility” entry in that field.  This will then enable payment of rent assistance to the person.

The amount that the person pays to the facility for residing there should be entered into the “Rent Amount” field.  In the case of a co-habitee, the amount of rent entered should not include fees payable in respect of the partner receiving care.

5.Enter date of entry to aged care

In the “Date of Entry” field, enter the date on which the person entered the aged care facility.  This date can be before or after 1 October 1997.

6.Enter accommodation bond details

In the “Accommodation Bond” field, enter the amount of any accommodation bond that the person has paid.  The amount entered into this field will be assessed as an asset of the person but will not be subject to deeming.

No amount should be entered into this field if the facility has not charged the person an accommodation bond or if the pensioner has chosen to pay the accommodation bond as periodic payments.

Similarly, no amount should be entered if the person has paid an accommodation charge instead of an accommodation bond.

If the check at step 2 reveals that the facility is not an approved aged care facility, the amount paid for entry into the facility should be entered into the “Entry Contribution” field rather than the “Accommodation Bond” field.  This is because the amount paid does not meet the definition of an accommodation bond where it is paid to a facility that is not approved.

Where an amount is entered as an entry contribution, it will be assessed under the entry contribution rules that applied prior to 1 October 1997.    More

Note:  various warning messages may appear where an attempt is made to enter  accommodation bond/entry contribution details and payment of one of these amounts is not consistent with other assessment details such as level of care and date of entry to aged care etc.  Full details of these warning messages and their meaning can be found in Attachment A of DI C13/98.

7.Assess as illness separated (if partnered)

If the pensioner is a member of a couple, reassess the couple as illness separated if this is not already the case.

8.Update income and assets

Check for any changes to the pensioner's income or assets and alter the person's assessment accordingly.

Significant changes to assets and hence deemed income are likely to occur if a person has paid an accommodation bond as a lump-sum.

9.Set 6 monthly review

Check whether draw down of any accommodation bond paid will result in any variation to the rate of pension payable to the pensioner over time.  If so, a review of the person's rate of pension should be set for six months time.

Such a review will be necessary where a pensioner pays an accommodation bond as a lump sum and is paid pension under the assets test.

It may also be necessary to set a 6 monthly review where a pensioner chooses to pay an accommodation bond as a periodic payment, since the person's assets may deplete over time.  This may affect the person's rate of pension under the assets test or, if financial assets are involved, the income test.

The review should be a full review of the persons circumstances, rather than simply an adjustment to the accommodation bond balance.