When planning a move, or making enquiries for a family member who needs to move into a care home, we at Mark Reynolds Solicitors recommend taking specialist advice to be sure that they are familiar with the support that is available by the State and what care must be paid for privately from the assets.
What will the State provide?
The starting point following an assessment that determined a move into a care home was necessary then, if your capital (assets) are less than £23,250 (upper threshold) you will be entitled to financial support from your local authority. If your assets are below £14,250 (lower threshold) then the State provide the maximum contribution for your care costs although you will be required to contribute your income towards the care costs less £23.90 for your personal expenses. If you have assets between the lower and upper threshold you will also pay a capital tariff of £1 per week for each £250 or part thereof between these two figures.
In the situation where you assets excess £23,320 then you will be required to meet the full cost of your care.
Paying for your own care
Will I have to sell my home? – No, you cannot be forced to sell your home and, in some cases, you may be unable to sell your home, for example, if you have a mental illness and no lasting power of attorney has been put in place to enable your property and financial affairs to be managed.
The local authority may cover the care costs for the first 12 weeks of permanent care and your property will be disregarded during this time. This period is to enable people time to think about how they intend to proceed and consider the financial decisions that are required to pay for future care and can be very useful if you intend to sell the property.
Once the 12 week disregard period has run the local authority will simply charge the funds against your home to be repaid once the property is eventually sold. This is generally not a favourable position
Beyond that period any financial help will be charged against the value of your former home and recovered from the eventual sale proceeds.
Alternatively, people consider renting the property although this may not provide a sufficient income to cover the care costs and there will also be someone required to maintain and manage the property which can be burdensome.
What happens if you run out of money?
Once your assets fall below the upper threshold then you will be eligible to ask the local authority to pay, however, if the cost of care home you have chosen is higher than the local authority normally would pay then they may insist that you are moved to a more affordable care home.
A top up can be paid to meet the shortfall but this can only be paid by a third party, usually a family member.
Planning future care is more important today than it has ever been in the past with a complex and bureaucratic system that is difficult to navigate. Our specialist solicitors can work with you and your family to ensure that the best and most suitable choices can be achieved.
For further advice on Care Home Fees, or to make an enquiry simply complete the contact form or call us on 0800 002 9577.