Funding Care – finding the right solution for you

Giving you peace of mind

Depending on your situation, funding your move into a care home can be complex, with lots of options available to you; extensive research is crucial for long term peace of mind.  The Wilverley Association strongly recommends that any person looking to fund long-term care takes financial advice from an independent financial advisor (IFA) who has specific knowledge of care fee planning.  You could start by contacting Forest Oaks or Little Haven where the Manager will be happy to discuss what options are available to you, over the phone, by email or in person.

The Wilverley Association is unable to recommend independent financial advisors and it is very important that families and residents consider more than one option.  However, some of our residents have benefited from the expertise of The Wealth Care Partnership, Chartered Financial Planners (http://www.thewealthcarepartnership.co.uk/home) who have been giving specialist financial advice to the pre and post retirement market since 2007.  The Wealth Care Partnership is accredited to The Society of Later Life Advisors (SOLLA) and has been approved by Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards.

Assistance from the Local Authority:

When long-term care is required Social Services via the Local Authority may be able to assist.  However, as at April 2014 anyone with capital assets valued over £23,250 will not qualify for financial assistance from the Local Authority, they will be classed as self-funders.  Capital assets that fall below £14,250 would be eligible for full benefits (this may vary across the UK).  It should be noted, however, that the rate paid by the Local Authority may be insufficient to meet the fees of many homes and therefore a “top up” may be required.

In the first instance Adult Social Services will need to complete an initial assessment as to whether or not they are able to assist you.  If they are able to assist then they will agree the services that will be provided and a contract will be drawn up stating the following three things:

  • The starting date for the arrangement and the ending date (or it will state the contract is to continue until further notice.
  • The maximum amount the council are willing to pay.
  • The required value of the third party top up. This will be the difference between our daily rate and the maximum daily rate that the council have agreed.

Next, your case will be passed to the Local Authority Finance Department who will complete a means test in accordance with Government guidelines. In order to do this they will need to visit you and collect details of your assets and income. Upon completion of the assessment the council will notify you of the exact amount they will contribute towards the maximum contribution they have previously stated in the original contract.

Please find below a flow chart and an example of the process:

Care Fees Diagram

Residential Care and Nursing Home Benefits

If you are receiving benefits and your circumstances change, you will need to tell the Social Security Agency.  You will probably have to contribute most benefits you get towards your home fees if the Local Authority are subsidising your residential care.

 

SituationEffect on the care component of Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance
Your local Trust is helping you with your care home feesIt will be paid for the first 4 weeks (if you were already entitled to receive it before moving into a care home).
Your local Trust is not helping you with your care home fees (self-funding).It will usually continue
You are in the first 12 weeks of your permanent stay in a home and your property is not being counted as capital for this period. Your local Trust is helping you with your fees for this period and you will become self-funding from the 13th week (or earlier if the property is sold).It will be paid for the first 4 weeks of your stay in a care home and will restart from the 13th week or when you start self-funding

 

Income Support and Pension Credit 

If your move into a residential care or nursing home will be permanent and you are claiming Income Support or Pension Credit as a couple, you should now claim as separate individuals.

Your local Trust will expect you to claim any Income Support or Pension Credit that you are entitled to and will help you apply. These benefits will count as income if your care is funded and when your contribution to your residential care or nursing home fees is assessed.

If your stay is temporary, you can continue to claim Income Support or Pension Credit for up to 52 weeks.

Housing Benefit

If you are in a home for a short break for temporary care, you can continue to receive Housing Benefit for up to 52 weeks.  If you are in a home on a trial period, your Housing Benefit for housing costs will stop if your trial period exceeds 13 weeks.

State Pension

Moving into a home will not affect your State Pension but it will be counted as income when your contribution to your fees is assessed if a Trust is paying for your care.

Carer’s Credit

Moving into a home may affect your Carer’s Credit or the Carer’s Credit of someone who looks after you

NHS Continuing Health Care

CHC is free and non-means tested.  The patient must have primary health care needs and the decision is based on many care factors.

Funded Nursing Care (FNC)

FNC is a non-means tested contribution paid by the NHS if a place in a nursing home is the best option for an individual and that individual has been assessed as meeting the criteria.

Self-Funding

12 Week Property Disregards and Deferred Payment Agreements

For the first 12 weeks after moving into permanent care the Local Authority must disregard the value of the person’s home when calculating the funding needed by the person to cover their care costs.  Therefore, if savings are below £23,250 the Local Authority will support with the fees of care for a 12 week period.  After this it is possible to enter into an agreement with the Local Authority to “lend” the money to pay for care via “deferred payments” which will be recovered when the property is sold or the person in care dies.  From April 2015 the Local Authority are entitled to charge interest on these loans.  They are also subject to set up charges and an ongoing weekly administration fee.

Immediate Care Plans (ICPs)

Designed specifically for funding care fees.  ICPs pay a guaranteed tax free sum to the care provider for the person’s lifetime.  A lump sum is required to purchase this and the Wealth Care Partnership or other financial planners may be able to assist with this.

 

This information was correct at the time of writing and may be subject to change.

 

Other useful websites include:

Hampshire County Council: http://www3.hants.gov.uk/adult-services/care-services/resicare.htm

Age UK:  http://www.ageuk.org.uk/home-and-care/care-homes/

Care Quality Commission:  http://www.cqc.org.uk/

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