Tips for Completing the Centrelink Income and Assessment form when you enter Aged Care

The Centrelink SA457 Income and Asset Assessment form is required to be completed by individuals and submitted to the Department of Human Services for those who are entering permanent residential aged care.

This form is used to determine if you are liable to pay the advertised room cost (Refundable Accommodation Deposit RAD or Daily Accommodation Payment DAP) and what your ongoing Means Tested Fee - MTF (personal financial contribution towards your cost of care) will be based on your assessable income and assets held.

What will you be assessed on?

If you are determined to have assets below the minimum threshold you may be assessed as a supported or partially supported resident and the government may subsidise all or part of the calculated upfront advertised room cost (Refundable Accommodation Contribution RAC or Daily AccommodationContribution DAC) and your ongoing Means Tested Fee - MTF (personal financial contribution towards your cost of care).

The determination for upfront and ongoing cost of care is assessed on your permanent date of entry as an aged care resident. If you are a respite resident this is not applicable as upfront and means-tested fees do not apply whilst you are in respite care. No Centrelink forms are required if your intention is only for respite care. Extra service or additional services fees do apply.

SA457 assessments are only valid for 120 days from the date listed on the assessment letter issued by the Department of human services, therefore should permanent entry into aged care occur after this date you will be required to complete a new form and resubmit with supporting documentation.

Should you choose not to seek professional advice consider requesting assistance from a financial information services (FIS) officer, an appointment will be required to be booked at an alternate time.

What records you need to keep when submitting your Centrelink Income and Assessment form when entering into Aged Care

Keep records of all submissions, and contact with Centrelink, if and where possible send submissions by fax and print a copy of facsimile record to verify details sent to Centrelink.

If you’re already in receipt of a Centrelink entitlement, ensure that you continue to update Centrelink of any changes to income and assets within 14 days as an increase or decrease to assets or income may affect your entitlements. Not only is this best practice and will assist you to avoid over or underpayments of entitlements, it can make the substantiation process required when submitting the SA457 income and asset assessment form with Centrelink, easier.

Prior to completing and submitting the SA457 income and asset assessment form seek advice or complete personal research with relevant reference sources myagedcare.com.au

Completing a nominee authority to authorise others to act on your behalf

If you have difficulty in completing or liaising with Centrelink there is the ability to complete a nominee authority to appoint an individual or an authorised organisation to act on your behalf in several capacities. It is imperative you only provide authorisation individuals or organisations that you inherently trust.

What happens if you don’t complete the assessment before going into Aged Care?

If you choose to not complete the Centrelink income and asset assessment form you will be assessed as a means not disclosed resident and liable to pay the maximum means-tested fee up to your cost of care(which is currently $249.93 per day). Government subsidies will not apply. This may result in you paying additional costs that may not be applicable should you choose to fill out this form.

Check the estimate assessment for the means-tested fee by completing the online calculator available on my aged care.com.au to determine if it appears the assessment has been completed correctly based on your understanding.

Contact Centrelink and request appeals should this information not align and seek to understand the reason for assessment. Lodge a request for review and appeal if you feel this is not correct.

Regularly follow-up Centrelink to ensure that application has been received and confirm estimated processing timeframes and if any there are any outstanding requirements to finalise the assessment and avoid unnecessary delays.

We’re here to help you navigate the Aged Care process

Every situation is so unique and a big part of our Rethink Financial Planning Aged Care team is to liaise with services such as Centrelink, the Department of Human Services and Aged Care providers on behalf of our clients.

For more information on managing your aged care options, please contact us on 4962 4440, or you can fill out our Pre-appointment Questionnaire here and one of the team will be in touch. We’re a team of trusted, highly-skilled and accredited aged care professionals based in Newcastle and would love to see how we can help you take control of your financial future.

Aged Care information sessions

We hold a number of small group information sessions throughout the year to support carers facing the increasing Aged Care needs of a family member or loved one.

To find out more and book into the next session head here or get in touch with our Rethink Aged Care team here.