Aged care means tests

Your Centrelink payments when you go into aged care

Most people keep getting the same amount of pension after they move into an aged care home.

Why your payments might change

Your rate might go up if you’re part of a couple and you start living separately due to illness.

Rent Assistance normally stops when you move into aged care.

How to pay your pension to your care provider

You can ask for your pension to go straight to your care provider. This means we pay it to your aged care home instead of to you. They then:

  • take out your fees
  • transfer the rest of the money to you or your nominee

To choose this, fill in the Please send my payment to an institution – Group Payment form.

When your circumstances change

If you get a pension or other payment from us, you must tell us within 14 days if you:

  • move into residential aged care, or
  • sell or rent out your home

If your living arrangements change, call the Aged Care team to tell us.

These changes can affect:

  • your payment amount
  • your aged care fees

Read about change of circumstances.

When you still own your former home

We don’t count your home in the pension assets test for 2 years after you move out of it and into residential care.

After 2 years we count your former home as an asset unless your partner still lives there. This can reduce your pension.

If you rent it out

If you rent out your former home it doesn’t count in the pension income test if you:

  • are in permanent residential aged care, and
  • pay regular fees to live there

The rent you get from it doesn’t count in the pension income test if you:

  • moved into aged care before 1 January 2017
  • pay regular fees to live there

Read about real estate assets.

Where to find out more

You can call the older Australians line.

Page last updated: 12 May 2018