Indexation of Social Security & Aged Care Related Thresholds – 20th March 2016

Indexation is conducted by the Department of Human Services (DHS) and Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) on a bi-annual basis (March and September each year).  During this process, all ‘means tested’ payment rates, thresholds and fees marginally increase.  The most recent round of indexation has recently gone through, coming into effect from 20th of March.

Most existing pension recipients will enjoy a boost to their fortnightly payment rates of approximately $6.90 for singles and $10.40 for couples ($13.80 for “illness separated” couples).

Aged care related fees and thresholds are also affected by the process of indexation, as most costs are ‘means tested’.  The residential basic daily fee has increased to $48.25 per day, the home care basic daily fee has increased to $9.93 per day, and relevant thresholds that apply to the broad range of aged care related fees have increased.

In addition to regular indexation, there is a significant change looming from 1st January 2017.  As a result of legislative reform proposed by the Abbott / Turnbull government and passed by the senate, major changes will be made to pension asset test thresholds and taper rates.  These changes will significantly impact pension payment rates and in-turn, funding available to meet aged care related expenses.  Now is the time to start planning a strategy to manage the impact of this significant change.

Links to all current DHS, DVA and Aged Care rates and thresholds are always available in the News & Links section of our website.

We are experts in optimising DHS and DVA entitlements, and managing the costs of aged care for our clients.  If you would like to discuss your own or a loved one’s circumstances, please contact us to arrange a meeting.