Financial hardship for aged care
Financial hardship assistance helps you when you have difficulty paying aged care fees and charges.
Your fees and charges may be reduced or waived, depending on your circumstances, and we may pay some, or all of your fees and charges.
Financial hardship assistance is granted in situations beyond your control. For example, when you cannot afford items that are not covered by your aged care fees, such as essential medical expenses. It is not granted when financial hardship results from a choice you made, such as giving away your assets.
The length of time financial hardship assistance is granted may vary, depending on your circumstances. It is usually granted for a period of up to 12 months.
If you require ongoing assistance, you can reapply for financial hardship assistance before the end of your current financial hardship assistance period. If your claim is approved this will ensure your assistance is ongoing.
Applying for financial hardship assistance
You should apply for financial hardship assistance as soon as you experience financial difficulties. We consider financial hardship applications from the date your application is received by us. We may backdate the application if there are special circumstances.
Complete and return a:
- financial hardship assistance guide and application form - home care and respite care, or
- financial hardship assistance guide and application form - residential care
You need to provide us with information about your assets and income when applying for financial hardship assistance.
When you submit the financial hardship assistance form, you will need to provide written evidence of your:
- aged care costs
- essential expenses, and
- unrealisable assets, if applicable
You will be asked to provide your asset details when you complete the relevant financial hardship assistance form, if you are:
- a Home Care recipient who receives a means tested income support payment, or
- a self-funded retiree who does not receive a means tested income support payment
If you are in Residential Care you will need to have a combined assets and income assessment completed by us, or DVA if you receive payments from DVA, before a financial hardship assistance assessment can be completed. If you have previously had a combined assets and income assessment, you will not need to complete it again.
We will not consider your expenses or unrealisable assets without supporting documents. If evidence is not provided with your application, we will ask you for further information. If you do not provide this information within 28 days your claim will be withdrawn.
Assessment of financial hardship assistance claims
To determine if your aged care costs would cause you financial hardship, we will consider your:
- income, and
- verified expenses
We will issue you and your provider with letters containing the assessment result, and if approved, your financial hardship assistance period.