Protected Persons

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Protected Persons

Hi there,
My gran went into care and it looks like I have protected person status, although I have not been told much else.
Question:
- Is there a limit on how much of an income a protected person can make each year as a protected person? Is there a threshold that affects a protected person status?
- If I continue to stay in the house (indefinitely and not move out) that is protected, will my gran fees stay as is (paying a standard daily fee only) or will some other charges come into effect like counting her house as an asset? Will she have to pay some means test fee at some point?
Thanks
 

agedcare101

Hi there,

Thank you for your question.  We have asked the wonderful Robert Craven from Affinity Aged Care Financial Services to help with this one.

You will be considered a Protected Person if you are a close relative who is eligible to receive an Australian Government income support payment and have been living in your gran’s home for the past 5 years.  You will also be considered a Protected Person if you are a carer who is eligible to receive an Australian Government income support payment and have been living in your gran’s home for the past 2 years.  It is my belief that receiving this Government Income Support Payment is key.  You must continue to be in receipt of a Centrelink or DVA income support payment to qualify as a Protected Person.

If you have not been claiming this support then you would need to check with the Department of Human Services to see if you really do qualify as a Protected Person.

If you are indeed a Protected Person then it is our belief that you can stay in the house indefinitely and it will continue to be an exempt asset for the means tested care fee while you reside there and retain your Protected Person status.  However, if you fail to qualify as a Protected Person, the home will be assessed at the capped rate (currently $162,815.20) when assessing your gran’s means tested care fee and will continue to be assessed at this capped rate indefinitely.  

Regardless of your status, the home will be exempt from the age pension asset test for 2 years and your gran will be assessed as a homeowner.  However, at the end of the 2 year exemption period, your gran’s home will be assessed at its then current market value and she will be assessed as a non-homeowner.  In all probability she will lose her pension after 2 years (unless she is in receipt of a blind pension or a DVA war widow’s pension).  This will not affect her means tested care fee, only her pension.  The only time the home is exempt from the 2 year rule for the pension asset test is if a spouse continues to live in the home and then the 2 year exemption commences from the time that the spouse ceases to reside there.

Thanks
The agedcare101 team

smithcaps

Thank you for your reply.

I have been approved for the protected person.

Unfortunately, Centrelink staff have differing opinions on how protected persons work. Some say once you have been approved for a protected person then there is no requirement to stay within an income threshold and can work as much as you want. Others say a protected person can't make more than the pensioner support payment.

smithcaps

Thanks. So if I understand correctly...her means test won't be affected if a protected person stays in the house. Does that mean the government will still pay her accommodation costs but not her daily standard fee of $691.88 a fortnight is she loses her pension and somehow we would have to come up with her daily standard fee  (unless she is eligible for the blind pension)? Would we also have to pay her accommodation costs or does the government fit the bill for that (if the protected person stays in the house)? I get confused between means test and accommodation fee. 

Jill_Donaldson

Hi Smithcaps,

Yes if you are indeed a Protected Person then it is our belief that you can stay in the house indefinitely and it will continue to be an exempt asset for the means tested care fee while you reside there and retain your Protected Person status.

Everyone pays the daily care fee which is 85% of the pension. This is separate to accommodation fees. I assume your  gran had an Income and Assets assessment completed?  

The Income and assets assessment will determine if your gran will recieve assistance with accommodation costs. Some people will have their accommodation costs paid in full or in part by the Govrnement. Others will need to pay the price aggreed to with the aged care home. If you do not complete an income and asest assessment yoou will not be eligible for any governmnet assistance towards your accommodation costs. You can pay your accommodation payment by a refundable accommodation deposit (RAD) or a daily accommodation payment (DAP) or a combination of both.

The means tested fee is payable by some people and this will vary based on your income and assets. This is in addition to basic daily fee and accommodation costs as a contribution to your daily care.

The blind pension has income and assets test free status.

Cheers

Jill


https://www.agedcare101.com.au/forum/aged-care/protected-persons#new

 

Bella2867

Hi. My elderly father cares for my disabled brother who receives the disability pension. My mother is in palliative care in a nursing home with late stages Alzheimers. My question is if my father passes away before my mum is my brother classed as a protected person who can reside indefinitely in the house without the government selling house to recoup funds for her health care fees? Also how does my father get my brother protected status? Thank you.

agedcare101

Hi Bella2867,

Thank you for your question.  I’m not sure we can fully answer this one as it is on the cusp of aged care and disability care.  We have got some partial answers and suggestions for next steps.

We are not entirely sure the status your brother would have should your father pass away before your mother.  We suspect he would be a protected person due to being a ‘dependent child’, but then who is he dependant on given that your father who cared for him died.  This is the part that we think you need to seek advice from an expert who specialises in disability.  

What we can say is if your brother is classified as a 'protected person', then he can continue to live in the house and your mother’s rates at the nursing home shouldn’t change.

What we recommend is that you call Centre Link on a fact-gathering mission without providing your full details, so you can explore your options before making decisions.

We hope that helps,
The agedcare101 team

 

Pogo

Hi my elderly mother entered aged care in March this year, she is 92 and has Alzheimer’s. My brother who has lived in my mothers home all his life and was her carer for the last several years is was on a carers pension and continued onto a part pension, keeping his Protected person status. My question is to do with the family home, will my mother continue to keep her pension and cover payments for aged care along with her assessed payments,? and is there any time limit in this as my brother has no property of his own and relies on living in the family home. 

agedcare101

Hi Pogo,

Thanks for your question.

If your brother is classified as a Protected Person then it is our belief that he can stay in the house indefinitely.  The home will continue to be an exempt asset from your mother’s means-tested care fee while your brother resides there and retain your Protected Person status.  Given that the house is an exempt asset, then it should affect her pension or any of the other costs.  The finances around Aged Care are complex and we absolutely recommend that you seek the guidance of an Aged Care Financial Advisor.

We hope this helps,

the agedcare101 team.

 

cgarnock

Hello , can I ask a question please ? My mother needs to go into Aged Care , she receives a fortnightly pension from the DVA (gold card holder) , and my sister has been living with her (helping each other out) for the last 6 years ...she receives a disability pension . If my sister keeps living in my mothers' home as a Protected Person , I gather her home will not be included in her assets . ? What happens if my sister wants to move out in a year or two or three , as she may wish to live closer to her own daughters ? Will this affect my mothers fees (RAD or Daily Fee) ? Thank you , Treena

agedcare101

Hi Trenna,

Thank you for your question.  Your understanding is correct.  If your sister continues to live in your mother's home then your mother's home is not included in her assets and income test.  If you sister moves out, then this may change your mother's means-tested fee which is determined by that assets and income test.  The good news is it shouldn't change the Basic Daily Fee nor should it change her RAD fee (unless she is receiving RAC assistance and then it is possible.)  

Given that your mother is a gold card DVA I would start by calling them for more clarification.  You can reach them on Phone: 1800 555 254 (* calls from mobile phones and pay phones may incur additional charges) or email: GeneralEnquiries@dva.gov.au.

You can also speak to the Department of Human Services about the Aged care means test for residential care by calling 1800 227 475.

Good luck with it,
the agedcare101 team

Max

Hello, I am a protected person living in my father's home. If I decided I simply wanted to move (sell this house and buy a new one), will this affect my protected status?

My father served with the National Service (conscription - home service) in the 50's and 70's seperately. Does this make him a veteran? 

 

agedcare101

Hi Max,

Thanks for your question.  It is our understanding that if you sell your father's house where you live as a protected person then this changes your status as a protected person.  It also changes your father's assets as the sale of your father's home will be seen as assessable income.  The funds from the property sale may also affect your father's pension (if he receives one) and it may also increase his means tested fee (if he pays one.)  As you can see there is a lot of grey here so the best thing to do is to talk to an Aged Care Financial Specialist.  Explain every nuance to them and they will be able to advise you well.  As you can see, these decisions can make large financial impacts to your father as well as you.

With regards to being a veteran, best to check with https://www.dva.gov.au/ to confirm.

We hope this helps.
the agedcare101 team.

Cate 1959

Hi, I wonder if you can help me. I have been caring for my mother (in late stages dementia now) for four and a half years in Sydney. I will have to put her in care in the next six months,but wish to sell up and move somewhere quieter,as the west connex is at the end of this street and they commence tunnelling and demolition soon. The dept roads said they will buy the house. Will I be covered as a protected person in a new house if I move mum there and then put her in care some months later? It says lived in that house for 2 years? If I move will it still be ok?

Thanks

agedcare101

Hi Cate,

Thank you for your question.  Logic says you would keep your protected person status but sometimes the department can be very literal about what they say and you want to confirm that changing houses won't be a problem.  I would advise calling the Department of Human Services on 1800 227 475 and ask them the question.  It is a call centre and sometimes information can differ from people to people, so I would actually call twice  (assuming you get different people each time) and ask the question again to be sure you get the same answer.  I would also ask if you need any type of documentation to confirm that you will still qualify as a protected person after moving houses.  When you are on the phone, I would ask the call centre team member's name and ID number.   Note it down with the date and time you called.  

You certainly don't want to lose that protected person status.  We hope that helps and if you remember, perhaps let us know how you went so you can help others here on the forum.
the agedcare101 team.

Alkay

Hi. I had been caring for my mum until late July when she entered a nursing home. I was receiving the carers pension and also working 3 days per week. My pension stopped after mum entered care. My husband receives an age pension. Mum was only able to pay part of her RAD and of course pays interest on the balance. My husband and I had been living on the same property to care for mum for the last 4 years. To help mum with her costs we are paying rent into her account. Do I still retain protected person status and does her home become assessed as an asset after two years? 

agedcare101

Hi Alkay,

Thank you for your question.  It was good that you were receiving the carers pension.  That is a key part of being classified as a Protected Person.  It sounds like you should continue to be a Protected Person.  If you maintain your Protected Person status, then your mum's home should not be included in the assets assessment, even after two years.  There is a call centre with the Department of Human Services that you can call to verify this.  Their number is 1800 227 475.  (This is different from the normal My Aged Care call centre.)  I would call them and ask the question generally.  You don't have to register the question on an account if you say you're just gathering information on behalf of someone else.

We hope this helps,
the agedcare101 team

Alkay

Many thanks. Just one more question. How is a Protected Person status maintained?

agedcare101

Hi again Alkay,

The main benefit of a Protected Person is that the home of your mum is exempted from the Income and Assets test.  Your mum's house might lose this benefit if:

1.) You move out of your mum's home.

2.) If your mum's home is no longer occupied by a protected person (this would be relevant if there is more than one protected person living in your mum's home.)

3.) If you or your mum sells your home.

Also regarding rent, I noticed on the Department of Human Services it states that rent needs to be included in the Income and Asset Assessment if your mum has paid a RAD.  If your mum is paying a DAP then it doesn't need to be included.

We hope this helps.
the agedcare101 team

Alkay

Hi again. Just an update. I rNg the 1800 number quoted above and have learned that since I'm no longer in receipt of a Centrelink benefit I  am no longer a protected person and mum's home will be assessed as an asset after two years of her entering care.

agedcare101

Hi again Alkay.   Yes, unfortunately, that sounds right.  Receiving the Centrelink benefit is key to be qualified as a Protected Person.

Robdry

You indicate that a protected person can live in a family home indefinitely. Does this change when parents die? If not then does the protected person became responsible to maintain the property and pay bills? 

 

If after 2 years the house is counted as an asset doesn’t this disadvantage to aged person not to be able to sell the house for income to support a higher quality of aged care?

 

My parents currently live in their own home with my sister. My sister is not their carer but Centrelink. I have many concerns about their welfare end safety

roman112

Good morning 

I don’t know so many conflicting stories. Can you help. 

My dad was placed into aged care in August 2017.he has di and Alzheimer’s.  My mum is still living in the home. Dad went into care on concession. If my mum was needing to go into aged care as well would then dad also need to pay the RAD or is he exempt. They own there home. And they have nothing else. Apart from some money put aside for there funeral. They live in Sydney. I was originally told that if mum was to go in dad would remain on concession but mum would have to pay. Can you please help me

Jill_Donaldson

Hi roman12,

I discused your situation with Robert Craven at Affinity Aged Care Financial Services who specialises in the finances of aged care. Here was his response.

If your parents have no significant assets (under $49,500) other than the home, while your mother remains living there, she will be considered a "protected person" and the home will be exempt.  Under these circumstances, assuming they have no significant income other than their pensions, your father would have been assessed as a Low Means resident on his date of entry to permanent residential care and his only fee would be the $51.21 Basic Daily Care Fee (85% of the basic rate of the single age pension).

 

 When your mother moves to permanent care, the home becomes an assessable asset at the capped rate of $168,351.20 for each of them.  Your mother will be required to pay the Basic Daily Care Fee plus a Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP) until the home is sold & the RAD paid.

 Once assessed as a Low Means resident, your father will always remain a Low Means resident.  However, while the home was protected, with other assets below $49,500, he would have been ‘fully supported’ so only the Basic Daily Care Fee payable.

 When the home becomes assessable at the capped rate, he will also be required to pay a Refundable Accommodation Contribution (RAC). 

 With $168,351.20 or more in assessable assets, his RAC will be $57.14 per day if his facility has been classified as ‘significantly refurbished or newly built’ or $37.24 per day otherwise – both fees reduced by 25% if the facility has less than 40% of Low Means residents.

 When their home sells, your mother's RAD will be assessed at 50% for each of them for the aged care fees but will be exempt for the age pension tests.  Any surplus sales proceeds will be assessed for both aged care fees and their pensions.  Consequently, when the home is sold, they might each be required to pay some Means Tested Care Fees and their aged pensions could be adversely impacted.

We always recommend that people seek specialised aged care financial advice. It can potentially save you time and money.

Regards

Jill

 

Josh

I have a 98 year old Aunt who I have managed to get into an Aged Care facility. She has a property in Waverley that to date has not sold. The Govt and the facility require fees to be paid that amounts to $2200 more a month than her pension. She has had the Income and Assets assessment done, and so they are fully aware of her monetary situation. She has no other money, which both Govt and facility also are aware of. So, as she has no resources to pay their fees until her property sells, what can be done? Her sight is only about 15-20%, and her hearing is also very poor.

 Prior to entering the Aged Care Facility she was living with my wife and I, however it was becoming obvious that

we could no longer give her the care she was now requiring. She has qualified for hardship allowance, however she is still required to pay $81 a day, a portion of this($35.62/Day) is being covered by her pension, but there is still $46/ day to be paid.  I am a pensioner also and therefore unable to pay and I am her only living relative.

What can I do from here?

Jill_Donaldson

Hi Josh,

You mention that your aunt has qualified for the Hardship Allowance which I would assume is because she has "unrealiseable assets" because the house is still on the market after 6 months or more. According to the Department of Human Services website they can ask the aged care home to reduce or "suspend" the fees for a short time or pay some or all of the fees for a short time. They also say that if you still need help you can apply again but its best to do so before the current financial arrangement ends.

You say that the government is aware of hr financial situation but have you called the  Income and Assets division of DHS? If not the number is 1800 227 475.

There are other options such as renting the family home or taking out a loan until her house sells however it will depend on your aunt's circumstances and her current arrangements as to whether this will be possible or beneficial.

If DHS is unable to help you I'd recommend you get specialist aged care advice from organisations such as Affinity Aged Care Financial Advisers or Sydney Aged Care Financial Advisers. Both have offices nationally. 

Regards

Jill

 

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