When a member of a couple enters residential aged care, the general rule is that the means tested amount is calculated using half of the combined income of the couple.
However, when including income support payments (eg. Age Pension) in the means tested amount assessment, the general rule does not apply. In this case, only the income support payments paid to the aged care resident are included in the calculation (and not halved). Any income support payments received by a spouse are excluded.
In most cases, this exception to the general rule does not matter as both members of a couple receive the same amount of income support payments. Only including the aged care residents’ income support payment results in the same amount as including both members of the couple and halving.
However, where both members of the couple do not receive the same amount of income support payments, eg, if one member received a non-means tested blind pension, it can impact the means tested amount assessment.
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