Respecting Your Legacy By Eliminating the Liquid Asset Test

October 1 is International Day of the Older Person and National Seniors Day. Today your Liberal Government is introducing a new and improved financial assessment process for the long-term care and community support services system.

Starting November 1, 2018, liquid asset testing will be eliminated. When applying for long-term care and community supports, people will no longer have to provide proof of their liquid assets. A liquid asset means cash in the bank or investments that can be easily converted into cash, for example, a savings account or RRSP. Before this change, only people with liquid assets below a certain level would be eligible for financial assistance and significant documentation would have to be provided.

As of February 1, 2019, the needs test for specific programs will be eliminated and income testing will be expanded to all services offered by the regional health authorities. Eligibility will be determined through one single test, the Income Test. Income testing is widely used in other Canadian jurisdictions. It is an easily understood tool that will calculate a person’s contribution based on their income. To qualify for financial support, the health authority will only look at your net income from the Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Assessment. New clients will be assessed with the Income Test. Existing clients will also be assessed with the Income Test when their annual reassessment date rolls around.

*IMPORTANT NOTE FOR CURRENT CLIENTS*

Some clients already in the long-term care and community support service system may have a higher contribution when they go through the Income Test. To help minimize the impact on those clients, they will be grandfathered into the new program and will not see an increase in their personal contribution. In addition, a financial hardship policy will be developed for both new and existing clients. This will allow the health authorities to have some flexibility to adjust or waive the client contribution when clients show that significant financial hardship would occur due to the contribution calculated with the income test. The Provincial Government wants to ensure that clients in need of long-term care and community services are supported to the fullest extent.

Quotes
“We have heard time and time again from clients and community advocates that this process should change. In response to these calls for change, we are delivering on our commitment in The Way Forward to make the application and eligibility process more person-centred, client-friendly and transparent. We are proud of the strong relationships we have built. We remain committed to working together towards a common goal of supporting our province’s seniors and their families.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“Eliminating liquid asset testing as of November 1 and expanding income testing as of February 1 is good news. It is good news for seniors and their families, persons with disabilities, and all other clients of these programs. We have listened to your concerns and we are making changes. At the end of the day, we all want a service that works the best for the people who use it the most.”
Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services

“Today’s announcement clearly demonstrates that our government has listened and we are delivering on our commitment to ensure changes are being made to the financial process for long-term care and community support services. For individuals availing of these types of services, this new process will provide them with more control over their own personal finances.”
Honourable Lisa Dempster
Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development

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