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Aged care residents encouraged to seek advice

Residents of aged care facilities who are considered 'low means' should seek financial advice so they can better manage their finances, according to Challenger.

A resident of 'low means' faces many challenges in managing their residential aged care costs, the firm said.

"Advice should be sought by 'low means' residents to ensure that they meet their lifestyle goals, are able to pay for their aged care fees and can navigate through any changes in their circumstances," a report from Challenger said.

"Aged care residents assessed as 'low means' are eligible to receive government support for their accommodation. Whilst all or part of their accommodation cost may be subsidised by the government, low means residents still have to pay certain costs.

"Therefore, seeking advice on the options and strategies available to help meet their costs is pivotal," the report said.

Challenger added that when entering a residential aged care facility, residents have the option to complete Centrelink's 'Permanent Residential Aged Care – Request for a Combined Assets and Income Assessment' form (SA457).

By completing this form they allow Centrelink to determine their 'means' and the level of government support they can receive for their aged care costs, including whether they are a 'low means' resident, Challenger said.


"A resident's means are measured by comparing their daily means-tested amount (MTA) against the maximum accommodation supplement (currently $53.84 per day)," the report said. 

"A resident will be classified as a low means resident if their MTA upon entry is less than the maximum accommodation supplement. It is important to remember that once a resident has been assessed as low means they will retain this classification throughout their tenure in the facility."