Care, Care costs

The main priority when choosing a care home is to establish the right level of support and assistance that is required to match a person’s individual needs.  It involves a health needs assessment that determines whether you require residential, nursing, or dementia support.  It could also be a combination of residential dementia, or nursing dementia.

It is also important to understand the cost of the care required and how this will be funded.

When it comes to funding care, you need to approach agencies that will help you to understand the options available to you, this will include your Local Authority (Adult Social Care), the DWP for attendance allowance, or your CCG if there is a nursing element involved which could involve both full CHC Funding or the weekly FNC contribution.

NI Contributions help to fund State Pension provision but do not have a bearing on social care costs.  The Local Authority should make a detailed assessment of both your health and wellbeing needs, as well as a detailed financial assessment to establish what financial support you may be entitled to.

The rules that currently apply to funding your care are as follows:

  • People with assets over and above £23,500 including savings, investments, property and income such as pensions and interest on investments are considered ‘self funders’ unless they are considered to be funded by the Continuing Health Service (this is rare)
  • A single or widowed individual where they own their own property this is included in their assets as a ‘self funder’
  • Property is more complex when it comes to couples or dependents still remaining in the home if one party requires to move to a care home – the property may be disregarded as an asset – includes partner, spouse, dependent older or younger – could be either ‘self funder or funded’
  • If you are looking to provide care in your own home your property will be disregarded as an asset. If you are looking to move into a home then your property less any mortgage or equity release will usually be taken into account.
  • You may also be able to rent out your home after moving into full-time care. The value may still be treated as capital, but the rental income could be paid to the local authority to reduce what you owe under a deferred payment agreement with the Local Authority
  • Some assets that are not included are life policies or bonds with a life investment element
  • People with assets below £23,500k, or have no property, are considered to be funded by their Local Authority or if nursing by the CCG.

Owning your own home is probably the most common reason that some people do not qualify for support.  It is against the Law to deliberately transfer property or investments to another person to avoid paying your care fees and it is investigated during a very thorough financial assessment by forensic assessors.

There are different types of funders:

  • Clear Self Funders – people with income, savings and property well over the £23,500 assets
  • Couples – one of which needs care the other remains in the family home and the assets are split, the home is disregarded and other financial assets are split
  • Self funders that may have no savings and waiting to sell homes to fund their care (may be eligible for the 12 week disregard paid by the Local Authority)
  • Self funders that may have limited funds for a given period of time

There are many sources of advice on care home fees, but all assessments should initially be carried out by your Local Authority as your first port of call.

For self funders, you can find out more information here: https://eldercaregroup.co.uk/ or call 0800 082 1155.