Paying for care – in a residential or nursing home
If your savings are less than £23,250 and you own a property Nottingham City Council will help with your care costs for the first twelve weeks. This is called a ‘twelve week disregard’. It means that your property is not taken into account as an asset for the first twelve weeks that you are in permanent care.
After this Nottingham City Council will continue to pay the care home, but it will be as a loan until your property is sold. During the time your property is up for sale, you will still be expected to pay the means tested contribution to the Council for your care charges (including the first twelve weeks when your property is not taken into account).
When the property is sold, you will need to pay the money back to Nottingham City Council that it has paid to the home in full for your care (less the means tested contributions that you have made in the meantime).
There are some times when your property will not be taken into account:
If your partner or – a relative who is over 60 or
incapacitated or – a child under 16 who you or your partner still maintain lives there.
Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance
These benefits are non-means tested, non-taxable benefits from the DWP paid at the lower rate of £53.00 per week for those needing care by day or night, and at the higher rate of £79.15 per week for those needing care both during the day and night.
Everyone who needs care can, and should, claim these benefits but they will only remain in payment if you are funding your own care. If the Council is making a contribution towards your care then Attendance Allowance will stop being paid.
NHS Nursing Care Contribution
Whether you are a temporary or permanent resident, if you live in a care home that provides nursing care you may be entitled to a non-means-tested NHS Nursing Care Contribution (currently £109.79 per week for the standard rate) towards the cost of your nursing care. This is paid directly to the home.
NHS Continuing Care Funding
You can receive continuing healthcare services in any setting, including your own home or in a care home. The NHS will pay if you need healthcare from a community nurse or a therapist as well as personal care to help you at home like having a bath or dressing.
If you live in a care home with nursing (traditionally called a ‘nursing home’), you may qualify for the full cost of your care home fees, including board and accommodation, under the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare. If you live in a care home providing only personal care and need help from a registered nurse, this will be free, covered by the NHS again.
Running out of money
If your capital is likely to reduce to £23,250 through payment of care home fees, you must let the Council know well in advance as they may step in to help with your care fees. They mustconduct an assessment of your situation.
If the home you have chosen charges more than the Council’s fee levels, you must find someone to help pay the difference – a ‘top-up’ payment. Whoever does this, whether family or a benevolent charity, they should realise that they may have to pay this for the duration of your time in care and the cost could rise. Alternatively, you would have to find a cheaper home or room.
Understanding your rights before moving into care is essential. There are a number of financial products and specialist companies who may be able to help. It is important to seek advice before committing yourself.