Charges for residential and nursing care

Charges for residential and nursing care

If you have capital or savings of more than £23,250 you will have to pay for any care services you require but you are still entitled to an assessment of your needs by Adult Social Care. If you have assets of less than £14,250, you are likely to be entitled to funding from the Council, though you will still have to make a contribution from your income, and if you have a substantial pension, you may have to pay the fees in full. Between these two figures, a sliding scale operates whereby you must pay £1 per week for each £250 you have above the lower figure, in addition to the amount you are assessed to pay from your income. Assuming you will be moving into care, you may be entitled to some of the following financial assistance and support.

Twelve-week property disregard  
If your former home is included in your financial assessment but your other capital is less than £23,250 and your income is not enough to meet your care home fees, the Council will help with the cost during the first twelve weeks of permanent care.

Deferred Payment Agreements
After the twelve-week property disregard period, any financial help from the Council will be charged against the value of your home and recovered once your house has been sold. However, the Council may limit how much they will pay and it may affect your entitlement to pension credit if your property is not seen to be on the market and becomes treated as capital by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

Attendance Allowance
This is a non-means tested, non-taxable benefit 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. All older people who are ill and disabled can, and should claim this benefit. Although you may not receive payments if you are in a care home and part of your fees are being paid by the Council.

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) towards the cost of your nursing care. This is paid directly to the home.

NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding
In certain circumstances you may be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare services. If this is applicable you may qualify for the full cost of your care home fees, including board and accommodation to be met by the NHS. Typically Continuing Healthcare services are provided in a nursing home setting but they may also be provided in your own home or in a residential care home.

Running out of money
If your capital is likely to reduce to £23,250, you must let the Council know well in advance as they will step in to help with your care fees. They must conduct an assessment of your situation and will make a contribution.

If the home you have chosen charges more than this, 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 some time. Alternatively, you would have to find a cheaper home.

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.

Figures mentioned here may change over the life of this Directory, published in August 2013.