Your Contribution to Care Home Fees
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 BenefitsYou 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 AssessmentBefore 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.
CapitalOne 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 HomeAlthough 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.