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C16/2008 Updates to residential aged care reference material


DATE OF ISSUE:  20 June 2008

Updates to residential aged care reference material


The purpose of this Departmental Instruction is to inform staff of updates to the Consolidated Library of Information and Knowledge (CLIK) and DVA Fact Sheets in relation to residential aged care.


The information on residential aged care provided in CLIK Policy Library previously focused on the pension impact upon a person's entry to care, also covering living arrangements other than residential aged care where a person is considered to be “in care” and the applicable pension rules.

The CLIK Policy and DVA factsheets updates have inserted an overview of residential aged care fees and charges to assist with general inquiries from the veteran community.

People seeking more details about aged care, or the March 2008 reforms to fees and charges should contact the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) Aged Care Information Line – 1800 500 853 – or visit to the DoHA web site

Aged care legislation

Responsibility for day to day care of all Australians in Government funded aged care services is managed by DoHA under the Aged Care Act 1997 and 21 sets of Principles (Aged Care legislation).

DVA staff have been delegated powers under the aged care legislation to conduct income and assets testing on behalf of DoHA.  The outcomes of these assessments are applied by DoHA to establish a person's eligibility for government assistance towards the costs of their residential aged care.

The key legislation for administering aged care income and assets testing are:

  • Aged Care Act 1997
  • Residential Care Subsidy Principles 1997
  • User Rights Principles 1997

Aged care reforms

A number of reforms to Australia's residential aged care system came into effect on 20 March 2008.  The major changes were:

  • the maximum daily fee for all new residents is now based on 85% of the annual single basic age pension figure, regardless of the resident's pensioner status;
  • a revised income-test treats pension and ordinary income the same way;
  • the accommodation charge is based on a smaller percentage of the aged care resident's assets, but the maximum charge has increased;
  • new self-funded retiree residents who cannot meet their aged care accommodation costs are eligible for Government assistance with these costs, and
  • pre 20 March 2008 aged care residents are not adversely affected by these changes.

The new rules have been incorporated into the DVA reference material.

Policy updates – Fact sheets

The factsheet HSV05 Care in Nursing Homes & Hostels - An Overview has been re-structured into:

IS80 Moving into Aged Care

IS81 Aged Care and your income support pension

IS82 Fees & Charges for Aged Care

The revised format allows each factsheet to focus on a different aspect of entry to aged care.

As residential aged care fees and charges in Government funded services are managed and regulated by DoHA, the information that DVA provides in IS80 and IS 82 is of a general nature.

Policy updates  – CLIK

The information on residential aged care as contained in CLIK Policy Library Pt9/ Ch2/ S4 In Care – Assessment Rules has been updated.  This section has also been re-organised and now contains the following topics:

  • In Care - Basic Assessment Rules
  • Aged Care Resident [new]
  • Funding for Residential Aged Care [new]
  • Other Care Accommodation [new]
  • Respite Care
  • Community- Based Care
  • Accommodation Payments [new]
  • Accommodation Bonds
  • Accommodation Charge
  • Residential Aged Care Fees [new]
  • Income-Tested Fee [new]

Form changes

DoHA has scheduled a small print run of a revised “Permanent Residential Aged Care, Request for an Assets Assessment” form to reflect the new terminology introduced in the March reforms.  Staff should still accept the old forms as these will remain valid.  A further review of the form and the accompanying booklet is expected later in the year.


Any queries should be directed to Elaine Tse, Income Support Policy Implementation, on 16011.

Sean Farrelly

National Manager

Compensation and Income Support Policy

   June 2008