Do I have to complete the Centrelink Means Test form?
The Means Test form required for residential aged care (Centrelink form number SA457) is not compulsory, however if you don’t complete it you will be classified as “Means not assessed” & consequently there is a risk that you will be charged more Means Tested Fee than you should be charged.
Those with substantial assets in most cases won’t need to complete the form, but even those people are at risk of paying more in Means Tested Fee than necessary if their ACFI assessment is lower than the Means Tested Fee.
If the person entering care is to be a Supported resident, then the form WILL need to be completed, otherwise they would be classified as an Unsupported resident, & therefore required to pay the Accommodation Payment in Full.
If you don’t complete the Means Tested Form you are likely to receive at least two reminders that the form has not been completed, plus even if you have completed it & sent it in, some people still receive reminders which means that Centrelink have never received the form, or they have lost it.
Another trap, to be aware of, is that the form is to be completed given your financial situation at the time you fill in the form (ie as at the “relevant date”. However, the final relevant date is the date you become permanent. Therefore, if your situation has changed in between these two dates, the outcome could be different.
Eg lets say one member of a couple enters care on respite today, & due to their financial situation, they are classified as a Supported resident, & not required to pay an Accommodation Payment at all. However, in between moving into care on respite & becoming permanent, their spouse died. Then the home would be counted for the person entering care, & they would NOT be Supported, they would later be treated as Unsupported & asked to pay the full Accommodation Payment some months after having become permanent.