With the end of 2022 financial year approaching, it is a great time to review any Centrelink or aged care entitlements you have. As always, we are here to assist you. If you have any questions about the issues mentioned below, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Here are some things to consider:
Applying for Centrelink or DVA benefits
The Government provides a wide range of benefits. These assist with meeting day-to-day living expenses for members of the general public, and for veterans and their families. Benefits may include the payment of pensions, allowances, and income support payments. (Like the Family Tax Benefit, and Child Care support.) For help in understanding these, please reach out. We would love to help.
Reviewing assets and income
Many benefits provided by the Government are means tested. They are subject to both an assets, and an income test. To ensure you are receiving your correct entitlements, a regular review of the current value of your income and assets is prudent. When valuing assets for assets test purposes, it is the ‘fire-sale’ value that is used. Not to be confused with the insurance or replacement cost.
Involves giving away something you own for less than its fair value. Limits are placed on the amount that may be gifted each year. This is looked at over a five-year period. Gifting can have an adverse effect on the benefits you may be receiving. Before giving away money or property, or even going guarantor on a loan, please speak with us.
Reviewing your dependants
Government payments are based on your relationship status. Whether you are single, a member or a couple, or a couple separated by illness. Also, the amount of benefit you may be entitled to may increase if you have dependants. Ensure that Centrelink or the Department of Veterans Affairs has the correct information. This will ensure your family receives the correct entitlements.
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC)
This card is available to those who have reached the eligible age for the age pension but are unable to receive the pension because of the assets or income test. The card provides a range of benefits including access to bulk-billed medical services and subsidised pharmaceuticals. Eligibility for a CSHC is subject to an income test, however it is not assets tested.
Low Income Heath Card (LIHC)
If you are a single person with an income of less than $656 per week, or a couple with a combined income of less than $1,127 per week, you may be entitled to a LIHC. The card is not subject to an assets test. This card provides access to a range of services including bulk-billed medical services and subsidised pharmaceutical items. Importantly, you do not need to receive Government income support benefits to qualify for a LIHC. You can read more here.
The aged care system is complex. Particularly when it comes to understanding the types of services available, and the costs involved in accessing services. Whether a family member is receiving an age or service pension, or a self-funded retiree, we can assist you in working through the aged care maze.
This is just a snapshot of some of the things to consider as we approach the end of the 2022 financial year. If you have questions about any of the issues above, or if you would like us to review any aspect of you or your family’s entitlements, or check that everything is on track, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
This information has been provided as general advice. We have not considered your financial circumstances, needs or objectives. You should consider the appropriateness of the advice. You should obtain and consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and seek the assistance of an authorised financial adviser before making any decision regarding any products or strategies mentioned in this communication