If it is likely that you have insufficient capital to pay for our care homes fees, a financial assessment will be undertaken by your Local Authority before you enter a care home to see if you should receive help in paying for your care fees. The boundaries for this are listed below:
- If your capital exceeds £23,250 (England) then you will not be entitled to any funding at all and you will have to pay your own costs as a private resident.
- If your capital is between £14,250 – £23,250 (England), the local authority may pay for some of the Care Home costs. For every £250 that you have over the lower amount, the local authority will deduct £1 per week from their contribution.
- If your capital is less than £14,250 (England) the local authority will pay for Residential or Nursing Home costs to a certain level. This varies for each Local Authority.
If your Care Home of choice charges more than what the Local Authority is willing to pay you may have to contribute towards the fees in order to stay there. These are called 3rd Party Contributions, (or more commonly Top-Ups) and have to be paid for by a relative or friend and not by the resident themselves for legal reasons. It is important that you keep the care home Manager informed if your capital falls below the upper limit whilst you are in a care home so that they can help you arrange assessment for the appropriate funding.
Where someone needs continuing specialist medical treatment, the state will pay for the full cost of care; this is called ‘Continuing Health Funding’. If you think that yourself or a relative might be entitled to Continuing Health Funding you should discuss this with your GP or care home Manager. A referral for Continuing Health may be made by the Care Home on behalf of a resident if they feel that the resident’s needs have increased. An assessment of care needs will be carried out to decide whether someone is entitled to continuing care fees and if an application is turned down an appeal process is available.
If you are paying the fees privately you may keep your pensions and some benefits. If you are funded by the local authority you will be expected to use all of your income, including your pension and benefits to help fund your care except for a Personal Allowance of £21.90 (England) per week for your day to day spending money. However, if you are paid the Mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance you will continue to get this. If you are over 65 you will also be entitled to up to £5.25 per week of any savings credit.
When the Local Authority completes their financial assessment they will look at all of your assets including your home and pensions. They will only include your home if you live alone, if you have another relative that relies on the property then it will not be included in the assessment. There are specific rules regarding whether certain close relatives are able to continue to live at the home and if this is the case then please seek further advice from your Local Authority.
Additionally the Local Authority will disregard the value of your property from your financial assessment for the 12 weeks after your admission to a Care Home, as long as your stay is permanent. This is called a ‘12 week disregard’ and after this the property will be taken into consideration.