Paying For Permanent Residential Care

This very useful Age Concern factsheet provides information about paying for permanent residential care in England if you have care needs. It covers:

Recent developments: Some financial thresholds have increased in 2023/24, but capital limits remain the same.

Terminology: Explains key terms like 'local authority', 'capital' and 'care home'.

Obtaining help from the local authority - The local authority must assess your needs and finances. Even if you have savings over £23,250, they must still assess you. They must show your care plan meets eligible needs.

The financial assessment - Calculates your contribution based on income and capital, allowing you to retain a Personal Expenses Allowance.

Treatment of capital - Most capital is included such as savings and property value. Capital below £14,250 is ignored. Capital between £14,250 and £23,250 has tariff income of £1 a week for each £250. Capital over £23,250 means you self-fund. Some capital is disregarded.

Treatment of income - Most income is included such as pensions. Some income is disregarded such as disability benefits mobility components. Notional income can be included.

Deliberate deprivation of assets - gifting assets to avoid care charges may be treated as notional capital.

Benefits - Pension Credit, Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payments can help meet care costs.

Personal Expenses Allowance - You must be left with at least £28.25 a week for personal use.

Calculating your contribution - Examples show how income and capital are calculated minus disregards and allowances.

Choice of accommodation and top-ups - The authority must have at least one option at your personal budget level. You can choose a more expensive option if a third party will pay the top-up.

Paying fees - The authority usually pays the full fees and collects your assessed contribution.

NHS and other care services - You can receive NHS healthcare like other people plus local authority-provided services based on eligible needs.

Free assistance - Covers NHS Continuing Healthcare, intermediate care, NHS-funded nursing care and mental health aftercare.

Arranging your own care - Explains the rules if you are a self-funder and your capital drops towards £23,250. Also covers moving areas and benefits.

Information and advice - The local authority must provide information on care options and accessing care and support.

People acting on your behalf - Covers attorneys, deputies, advocates and appointees for benefits.

Complaints - You can complain about local authority decisions including financial assessments.

Safeguarding from abuse or neglect: The local authority must investigate concerns whatever the funding situation.

In summary, the factsheet provides a comprehensive overview of paying for residential care and how the system operates if you need financial assistance from a local authority. It highlights the rules around needs/financial assessments, treatment of income/capital, and LA duties to provide information, choice and complaints processes.

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