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Your Contribution to Care Home Fees

By: Sarah O'Hara BA (hons) - Updated: 13 Sep 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Care Homes Local Authority Assessment

If you are moving into a care home, you may have to pay all or part of your fees. The way this is worked out is through an assessment carried out by your Local Authority.

There are a few financial factors which the council will assess to establish who should pay what. These include:

  • Any savings that you have, and the interest on them
  • Your pension (private or state)
  • Certain benefits
  • Capital, including property and investments

Assessment and Benefits

You should try and make sure that you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to before you undergo the financial assessment for care home fees. The assessment as to who should pay what will be worked out on the premise that you’re receiving all relevant benefits.

Even if you have to pay some or all of your fees, you will be left with some spending money. You will have at least £20.45 a week to spend as you wish.

Needs Assessment

Before you are assessed financially, you should be assessed to determine what your care home needs are, that is, what level of care you will need. The council can give you an idea of the amount they expect to pay for a home to meet your care needs.

If you are paying for your own fees, of course you can choose your own home. If you are not paying your own fees, you can still choose your own home usually, and it doesn't have to be a Local Authority home. If your fees are more than your Local Authority is willing to pay though, you'll need to find the difference.

Finding out what the council would expect to pay for someone with your needs can be helpful even if you are paying for your own fees. If you think you may need financial help later on with your care home fees, you may want to factor this into your choice to lessen the chance of disruption through changing homes later on.

More information is available in our article Choosing a Care Home.

Capital

One factor which will determine how much you have to pay towards your care home fees will be how much capital you have. The contribution is worked out on a sliding scale:

  • If you have over £23,250 you will be expected to pay the full amount of your care home fees.
  • If you have more than £14,250 but less than £23,250 you will pay part of your care home fees.
  • If you have less than £14,250 you won’t be expected to pay your care home fees. See our article NHS Help for more information on this.

Your Contribution and Your Home

Although if you own your own home it’s counted as capital, there are some important caveats. For example the council won’t count your home as capital if certain people live there. These people include:

  • Your spouse or civil partner
  • Close relatives aged over 60, or who are incapacitated
  • A close relative under the age of 16, who you are parent or legal guardian of
  • Your ex spouse, civil partner or partner (if they are a single parent)
  • In certain cases your carer

Just because your home has been counted as capital in your financial assessment you don’t necessarily have to sell it. There are a number of ways to keep your home. More information is available on this in our article Care Home Fees and Your Home.

It’s important to note that although an initial financial assessment may decide that you are liable for your own care home fees, your situation may well change. If it does, or you are worried that you won’t be able to pay your care home fees for much longer, do contact your Local Authority who can arrange for you to be re-assessed.

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Bill - Your Question:
Sarah O'Hara advised on 3 June 2015 that the if ones capital is between £13,000 and £21,500 one must contribute to the cost of a care home on a sliding scale. I think that these figures are now out of date and that the figures are £14,250 and £23,250.1. Will you please confirm2 Grateful if you will advise details of the sliding scale'Regards.Bill Hall

Our Response:
Yes the figures were out of date. We have amended the article accordingly, thanks for pointing it out.
FundingCaring - 13-Sep-16 @ 12:06 PM
Sarah O'Hara advised on 3 June 2015 that the if ones capital is between £13,000 and £21,500 one must contribute to the cost of a care home on a sliding scale.I think that these figures are now out of date and that the figures are £14,250 and £23,250. 1. Will you please confirm 2Grateful if you will advise details of the sliding scale' Regards. Bill Hall
Bill - 11-Sep-16 @ 4:48 PM
@Chris. When the council will carries out its financial assessment for your residential care they will ask about all previously-owned assets, not just those you have currently. If they think you've deliberately given the money away to get local authority funding, this is called ‘deliberate deprivation’. Not all disposal of assets is classed as "deliberate deprivation" as many people give tax-free sums of money to children or grandchildren so that they can enjoy seeing them spend it. The local authority will therefore consider your motive or intention when disposing of assets and the timing in doing so (e.g. if it was a few months before applying for care, they may consider it deliberate). The amount given is also considered - £27,000 is reasonably significant and more relevantly is above the £23,250 threshold for assets before state care is paid.
FundingCaring - 5-Jun-15 @ 12:03 PM
Sirs, I have been told by a friend, that before I go into a care home I can gift £3000 to each of my 3 children AND £3000 to each of my 6 grandchildren (£27000) in total in order to avoid the council taking all of my savings for my care. Am I able to do this please. Regards Chris
chris - 3-Jun-15 @ 6:59 AM
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