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Self-funding care in a care home

Questions to ask

  • Are you claiming all you can from the State towards your care costs ?
  • What are my best options for investing capital to meet my care costs ?
  • Is the care home you are choosing affordable over the long-term ?
  • Have you had an assessment of your care needs from the local authority social services department ?
  • Would the local authority assist with the fees of the care home you have chosen should you need to fall back on their funding ?
  • Seek expert advice

    from our advice line by calling 0800 377 70 70 or Email: info@firststopadvice.org.uk and one of our advisers will be able to answer all of your questions on funding your care.

    State support that might be available to you

    If you are paying for your own care either because you have chosen to or because you are not eligible for council funding, you may be entitled to some of the following financial assistance and support.

    More about self-funding care in a care home

    Twelve-week Property Disregard

    If your former home is included in the means test but your other capital is less then £23,250, and your income is not enough to meet the care home fees, the council will help with the cost during the first twelve weeks of permanent care (as if you were council funded).

    More about the twelve-week property disregard

    FirstStop Factsheet 5 - Deprivation of Assets

    Deferred Payment Agreements

    After the twelve-week property disregard period, any financial assistance from the council will be charged against the value of your home and recovered from the eventual sale proceeds. However, the council may limit how much they will pay and it may affect your entitlement to pension credit if your property is not seen to be on the market and becomes treated as capital by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

    Council Tax

    If you move into a care home and your property is left empty then you should receive full exemption from Council Tax until it is sold.

    Attendance Allowance

    Is a non-means tested, non-taxable benefit from the Department for Work and Pensions paid at the lower rate of £51.85 per week for those needing care by day or night, and at a higher rate of £77.45 per week for those needing care by day and night. (In Scotland, if you receive a Personal Care Contribution, entitlement to Attendance Allowance ceases.)

    More about Attendance Allowance 

    NHS Nursing Care Contribution

    Whether you are a temporary or permanent resident, if you live in a care home that provides nursing care (a care home “with nursing”) you may be entitled to a non-means tested NHS Nursing Care Contribution (currently £108.70 per week) towards the cost of your nursing care. (This applies to England only. In Wales the contribution is set at the discretion of the local health boards and is circa £120; in Northern Ireland the rate is £100, and Scotland pays a Personal Care Contribution of £163 and a Nursing Care Contribution of £74 per week.)

    NHS Continuing Care Funding

    If your needs are primarily for health care and you live in a care home with nursing (what used to be called a “nursing home”), you may qualify for the full cost of your care under the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare.

    More about NHS Continuing Healthcare

    Section 117 Aftercare

    If you have been detained in hospital for assessment and treatment under the Mental Health Act 1983 you may be entitled to free aftercare services.

    Read more about Section 117 Aftercare

    Running out of money

    If there is a chance that you may not be able to continue funding care in your chosen care home over the long-term, it is vital to consider this possibility at the outset. It is essential to have had a care needs assessment so that your council accepts that you need to live in a care home. If you run out of money, the council will then accept that they must help to fund your care. However, if the home costs more than the council usually pays, you may have to find a secure source of third party top-ups or move to a less expensive care home.

    Immediate Need Care Fee Payment Plans

    In exchange for a lump sum, these plans are designed specifically to provide a guaranteed regular income for those people who need care.  

    Getting further financial advice

    EAC understands that older people’s choices and decisions about their care and housing involve financial considerations, and therefore we aim to provide, through EAC FirstStop Advice, as much information as we can to help our clients assess their options with a full understanding of any financial consequences.

    Our own telephone Advisors are trained to be able to provide detailed information and guidance about state benefits and entitlements, and to explain in outline the main types of commercial ‘financial products’ of particular relevance to older people. They can also explain the role of Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) and, if you wish, advise on how to go about finding one and suggest questions to ask to help you select a suitable one.

    Read about getting further financial advice

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