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These terms are commonly used when talking about residential care:

  • maximum contribution
  • top-up subsidy
  • contracted care services
  • Residential Care Subsidy
  • Residential Care Loan
  • financial means assessment
  • admission agreement
  • premium room fees

Maximum contribution 

Fees for all levels of care are capped at the maximum contribution rate for both subsidised and privately paying residents, unless you agree to pay for extra services / premium room fees. Payment of maximum contribution covers contracted care services which are detailed in the contract between the care provider and District Health Board. The maximum contribution varies depending on which area the hospital or rest home is located in. 

Top-up subsidy

Where the District Health Board (DHB) contract rate is greater than maximum contribution i.e. for hospital or dementia level care, the difference is covered by the top-up subsidy. All residents needs assessed as requiring dementia or hospital care receive the top-up. There is no application process, it is organised by the needs assessor.

Contracted care services

Contracted care services are the services covered by payment of maximum contribution; they are detailed in the national Age Related Residential Care Services Agreement held between care providers and District Health Boards.

Residential care subsidy

The Residential Care Subsidy provides financial assistance toward costs associated with long-term residential care in a rest home or hospital. To access subsidy you must have a needs assessment stating you require residential care indefinitely. The application form for residential care subsidy (financial means assessment form) is available from your needs assessor. Work and Income assess both your assets and income to determine eligibility and how much you should contribute towards cost of care. Work and Income allow you to ?test? eligibility for subsidy.

Residential care Loan 

If property ownership places you above the asset level for the Residential Care Subsidy but you have little cash or other assets, you may qualify for a Residential Care Loan. To access the loan you apply for the Residential Care Subsidy and answer additional questions relating to the loan. For advice on how to fill the application form contact the Residential Subsidy Unit at Whangarei, phone 0800 999 727. Loans are interest-free and repayable when the home is sold or within 12 months of the settlement of your estate.

Financial means assessment

This refers to the asset and income testing process conducted by Work and Income on behalf of District Health Boards to determine if a person is financially eligible for Residential Care Subsidy/Loan. Financial means assessment forms (application for Residential Care Subsidy / Loan) are available from your needs assessor. 

Admission agreement 

This document provides protection for residents in a rest home or hospital by setting out responsibilities for each. It should specify any additional charges the resident will have to meet. Ideally you should read and understand the agreement before making a commitment to any rest home or hospital. 

Premium room fees 

Rest homes and hospitals can charge extra for services outside their contact with District Health Boards, for example, large room or ensuite toilet. The charges require resident agreement and should be documented in the admission agreement.