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 apart 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 residential 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
  • sell or rent out your home.

If your living arrangements change, call the Older Australians line to tell us.

These changes can affect your:

  • payment amount
  • aged care fees.

Read about change of circumstances.

When you still own your former home

If you entered aged care after 1 January 2017, we don’t count your home in the pension assets test for 2 years. The 2 years starts from the date you move out of your home and into residential care. Different rules apply depending on your situation if you entered aged care prior to 1 January 2017.

After 2 years in care, we count your former home as an asset unless your partner still lives there. If we count your former home as an asset it may reduce your pension.

If you earn rental income from your former home

If you rent your former home to someone else, the net rental income counts in the pension income test. However, it won’t count if you:

  • moved into aged care before 1 January 2017
  • haven’t re-entered aged care since 1 January 2017 after being absent for more than 28 days
  • pay regular fees to live there.

Read about real estate assets.

If you are seeking help with aged care costs

Your former home may affect the help you can get with aged care costs. Read more about the aged care means test for residential care and how we value your former home.

Page last updated: 11 January 2019