Many people find the funding of care complex and confusing. Therefore, our Customer Service Manager has provided the following advice which responds to the most frequently asked questions regard the funding process, which provides some initial guidance.
Weekly care home fees vary from home to home and also depend on your personal or nursing care needs, and the room of your choice. The manager of your chosen care home will be able to give you a personalised rate for their particular home.
You might be eligible for some help towards the fees from the Local Authority if you have savings and assets currently below £23,250 (2012).
If you have less than £14,250 and meet the criteria for residential care, the Local Authority should pay a standard rate towards your care home fees, subject to your income, being means tested. Where the Local Authority pays this standard fee in total, you will be entitled to retain a Personal Expenses Allowance, which changes each year.
If the home you choose costs more than the standard Local Authority fee, you may require a third party to agree to top-up any shortfall.
Funding and eligibility criteria can vary between different Local Authorities.
The NHS is responsible for meeting some of the nursing costs of residents in care homes that provide nursing care. This is called Funding Nursing Care (FNC) and is currently £108.70 per week. This is usually paid directly to the home, although the actual process varies from county to county. This amount forms part of the weekly fee for your care and is credited back to your account when received.
To obtain FNC you will need to meet the NHS eligibility assessment. We can help with this process if required.
Where you have substantial health needs, the NHS may be responsible for meeting the full cost of care. This is called Continuing Healthcare and, like FNC, is only available after an assessment. If desired, this can be arranged prior to coming into the home and can also be reapplied for after admission or if your needs change over time.
Where you have property to sell and you are being part of fully funded by the Local Authority, the value of the property is disregarded for the first 12 weeks of care when you are being means tested by the Local Authority to calculate your contribution towards your care costs. If this is not enough time to sell your property, or you wish to delay selling your home for other reasons, you could enter into a Deferred Payment Agreement with the Local Authority. This means that they would pay your fees to the home until the property is sold and you are in a position to settle any arrears with them.
If your care is not being funded by the local authority (other than FNC where relevant) you can continue to claim Attendance Allowance. You may also be able to claim Attendance Allowance if you are received help toward the fees from the Local Authority but are benefiting from the 12-weeks property disregard. If you are being funded by the Local Authority, Attendance Allowance usually stops after four weeks. Where your financial assessment requires you to pay the full cost, you are able to continue to receive Attendance Allowance.
Home Managers would be pleased to answer any further questions you may have about moving into residential care.