If you are self-funding your care because you are not eligible for local authority funding there are other forms of financial assistance you may be entitled to.
Will the local authority pay my fees whilst I am selling my former home?
If, apart from your property, your other capital is below £23,250 the local authority should help with the costs during the first twelve weeks of permanent care. Beyond that period any financial help will be charged against the value of your former home and recovered from the eventual sale proceeds.
Do I have to sell my property?
No, the local authority may lend you the money to pay for your care charged against your property value. However, they could limit how much they will pay and it could adversely affect your welfare benefit entitlements.
Do I have to pay Council Tax on an empty property?
If you move into a care home and your property is left empty then you should receive full exemption from Council Tax until it’s sold.
Is there any financial help that is not means tested?
Attendance Allowance is a non-means tested, non-taxable allowance paid at the lower rate of £54.45 for those needing care by day or night and, at a higher rate of £81.30 for those needing care by day and night.
Whether your stay is temporary or permanent if you receive nursing care in a care home you may be entitled to an NHS Registered Nursing Care Contribution (RNCC) towards the cost of your nursing care, paid directly to the home at £110.89 per week. If your needs are primarily health care needs, you may be entitled to full funding from your local PCT following an assessment under their continuing care eligibility criteria. This figure applies to England only.
What happens if I move into a care home independently and run out of money?
Once your capital reduces to £23,250 you should seek local authority assistance as soon as possible. However, if the home costs more than the local authority usually pays and won’t reduce its fees you could be in the difficult situation of either finding a source of top-up or seeking less expensive accommodation.
If there is a likelihood of running out of money it’s important that you arrange an assessment of your care needs with Adult Social Care to ensure they are aware of your financial situation. Also check if the care home owner can continue to accommodate you at the local authority’s funding rates or will require a third party top-up.
What can I do to avoid this situation?
There are ways of meeting care costs for as long as you need care whilst using up only part of your capital. For example, the use of Immediate Need Care Fee Payment Plans can contribute towards capping the cost and, as so many older people wish, enabling an inheritance to be left for the family.
The important thing when self-funding is not to try to do it alone, always seek professional advice.
You should contact your local authority for further information on self-funding details in your area.
Figures mentioned here may change.