Unusual circumstances

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Unusual circumstances

Seeking advice about our unusual situation. My husband is 84 and  has Lewy Body Dementia.  I am 54 and have been caring for him and will continue to do so for as long as I can.  We own our own home and both receive the Aged Pension - my eligibility for the pension is based solely on marriage. What are the financial implications for me and my husband when it is necessary for him to enter a nursing home?  We have no other assets and no other sources of income.

agedcare101

Hi there,

Thanks for your question.  We asked Robert Craven from Affinity Aged Care Financial Services for some help with this one and he has come back with the following advice. 

If you own your home and your husband moves into a nursing home, your home is seen as a protected asset as you are still living there.  That means you will not have to sell your home to pay for accommodation and means tested fees in a nursing home.  The government will classify you as ‘asset free’ if you have less than $47,500 in assets and income.  In this case, your husband will be seen as a fully supported resident.  Your husband will not have to pay the accommodation fee, or the means tested fee but will have to pay the daily fee.  Almost everyone has to pay the daily fee which is $49.42 or 85% of single basic rate of age pension.  

I suspect that you are receiving a carer pension not the age pension and there is a possibility that you would no longer be entitled to this payment if your husband moves to permanent residential care.  He would actually get an increase in his pension because he would be assessed as a member of an illness separated couple.  As such, he would be entitled to the single rate, currently $894.40 per fortnight.  

If the time comes where your husband needs to move to an aged care home, you will need to complete a Combined Income and Assets assessment.

We hope this helps,
the agedcare101 team

linron

Thank you for your response, you have confirmed my thoughts regarding my husband but I still have a question regarding my own situation. I am on the age pension , not carer pension - one of those weird situations of originally being on a partner pansion that morphed into the age pension at some point. I do receive thecarer's supplement which will end once he he leaves. My concern is that one he goes into care we will not be classofied as an illness seaprated couple.. This has many financial and emotional implications. My husband and I are very close. even after he goes into a nursing home I would still want to spend tme with him. This will not be possible if I need to work. I want to plan for any eventuality but don't know which one to plan for. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

agedcare101

Hi again,

Again I had to ask the wonderful Robert Craven from Affinity Aged Care Financial Services for some help with this one and he has come back with the following advice.

You and your husband will definitely be assessed as an illness separated couple if your husband moves to permanent residential aged care.  This will be considered a change of circumstances so the Department of Human Services/Centrelink will need to be notified within 14 days following the move.  

With regards to if you will still qualify for the age pension?  I suspect that this will be a one-off determination by a senior departmental assessor.  We suggest that you contacts Centrelink directly.

Our fingers are crossed for you. 

We hope this helps.
The agedcare101 team

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