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Moving into aged care as a couple — a day can make all the difference

By Brian Herd / 16 August 2021
2 min.
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Worthwhile read for: Children with aging parents, Mature couples

When it comes to moving as a couple, into an aged care facility, a day can make all the difference. 

If a couple move into residential aged care on the same day, they could end up paying more than a couple who move into aged care a day apart.

This has to do with the way, and when, Centrelink assesses the value of the family home.

Currently, Centrelink uses an assets and income test to determine how much an individual pays for residential aged care. Centrelink’s assets test deems that all the assets of a couple, be they owned jointly or individually, are deemed owned by each of them as to 50% each. The family home can form part of the assets test up to a capped amount. So, if a couple move into residential aged care on the same day, they will each be attributed with 50% of the value of the home up to the capped amount.

The exception to this is if one member of the couple moves into residential aged care and the other member remains in the home. The home would not be assessed as part of the assets test at all as it is exempt while that member remains in the home. Then, if the other partner moved into residential aged care the very next day they would only be assessed as to 50% of the value of the home up to the capped amount.

So does one day matter? Yes, depending on the couple’s overall circumstances, it can make aged care cheaper.

It’s complex, isn’t it? So, before (not after) you make any decisions about whether this is right for you, or for your parents, please seek financial and legal advice. 

For more information, please contact our Aged Care team. 

Authors
Brian Herd
Partner
Brian is a Partner in our Estates and Succession team.

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