Centrelink & Aged Care
What is an Assets & Income Assessment?
The Assets & Income Assessment is the second vital step in the aged care entry process for most families.
Detailed financial information is provided to Centrelink or the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA).
The outcome of this assessment should be completed prior to someone entering permanent residential aged care. If not done prior to entry, the potential resident may be charged the maximum level of fees.
An Assets & Income Assessment is not required for respite or transition care.
Which form do we have to fill out?
Which Form needs to be filled out depends on the circumstances of the person seeking care:
Currently Receiving A Pension
This section applies if the potential aged care resident is currently receiving some form of Australian Government Pension (e.g. Aged Pension, Service or Disability Support Pension).
OWN THEIR OWN HOME
If the person owns, or part owns, their own home (including in a retirement village), then they must complete Centrelink Form SA485.
Form SA485 can be downloaded by clicking here: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/forms/sa485
DON’T OWN A HOME
If the person going into aged care does not own a home, then no Centrelink form will be required.
Not Receiving A Pension
If the person entering aged care does not currently receive a Pension, then they must complete Centrelink Form SA457 in order to have their income & assets assessed by Centrelink.
Form SA457 can be downloaded by clicking here: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/forms/sa457
If the person entering aged care does not wish to fill out Centrelink Form SA457 then they will be liable for the maximum applicable Means Tested Care Fee (currently $32,718.57 per annum), and will be liable to pay an Accommodation Payment (if applicable).
Home Care, Not Residential Aged Care
If the person wishes only to access an Australian Government Home Care Package, and does not presently wish to enter residential aged care, then they will be required to fill out Centrelink Form SA456. This form is only required if the person doesnt currently get a means tested income support payment from the Australian Government
Form SA456 can be downloaded by clicking here: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/forms/sa456
If the person entering aged care is only seeking a respite (short term) stay then no Centrelink form needs to be filled out.
If the person intends to convert their stay into a permanent aged care admission, then the relevant Centrelink Form (see above) will need to be completed and returned.
Why is it required?
Assets and income of a potential aged care resident are assessed to determine the level of fees and charges that will be charged.
If this financial information is not provided to Centrelink, an aged care resident may be required to pay the maximum level of fees and charges.
For more information on how assets and income affects aged care fees, see the Aged Care Fees page.
Checklist of information required
Details of existing Centrelink or Department of Veterans Affairs payments.
Details of existing primary residence – including number of bedrooms, number of car spaces, construction type, age of building, condition of building.
Outstanding mortgage details – including repayment amounts, current balance, and mortgage statements.
Pensions, annuities, business income, trust dividends, investment property income, rental income, share income.
Bank accounts, savings accounts, superannuation, cars, boats, caravans, annuities, stocks, bonds, shares, investment properties, gifts, etc.
Credit cards, personal loans, outstanding medical bills, outstanding household bills, etc.
Carer or Family Members Who Live in Primary Residence
Details of any carers or family members who live in he primary residence.
How do we get this done?
Aged Care Decisions cannot organise an Assets and Income Assessment on your behalf. You will need to contact Centrelink to organise an Assets and Income Assessment.
The completed Form will need to be filled in, signed and returned to Centrelink or to the DVA together with all the required supporting documents.
If the form is returned prior to entering a residential care service, the initial fee notification advice will be valid for 120 days unless there is a significant change in circumstances.
How long does the process take?
Relevant documents should be compiled in the months prior to aged care being required.
Filling out the form may take a few hours.
The form must be submitted to a Centrelink office or the DVA, along with copies of required documentation.
The results of the assets & income assessment will typically be sent to the potential resident within 4-6 weeks after submitting the form to Centrelink.
Note: Information is correct as at 20 September 2023