If you are thinking about moving into a care home, talk it through with us first. We may be able to help you make a decision.
How your care is paid for
Depending on your financial circumstances, part of your accommodation and your care costs may be paid by us. The cost of the nursing element of your care is the responsibility of the local NHS.
We will work with you to complete a financial assessment to determine how much you will be asked to contribute, based on your income, including any welfare benefits and capital you have. We calculate this amount using the Department of Health 'Care Act 2014' document.
All financial help is based on a means-tested assessment. You can start this process by completing our online self-assessment form to find out if you will need to pay for your care.
You will be left with a weekly personal expenses allowance, which is set by the Government at £24.90 a week for the financial year 2021-22. We will also complete an assessment if you are going into a care home just for a short period.
If you are entitled to claim pension credit, this will be on the same basis as if you were living in your own home. If you are not entitled to financial help from health and adult services, you should claim attendance allowance to help you meet the cost of paying for your care. We can help you with this.
How your contribution is worked out
We will ask you about your income, such as pensions and welfare benefits, and any capital, such as stocks and shares, land or property, that you have. We will then work out your contribution. If we have reason to believe you have disposed of any capital to reduce the amount you will be charged, we may take this capital into account as if you still owned it.
The first £14,250 (for the financial year 2021-22) in value of any capital that you have is disregarded. For every £250 or part of £250 that you have over £14,250, £1 will be taken into account as weekly income. This will be added to your normal income in order to work out how much you will be asked to pay.
You will be required to pay the full charge for your accommodation if you have capital worth £23,250 (for the financial year 2021-22) or more. Therefore, it is very important that you seek information and advice to ensure you make informed choices about your care and how you pay for it before you enter into any arrangements.
If you own a property
In some circumstances, a property you own will not be included in the assessment. If you are a part-owner of a property, different rules may apply to the value when taken into account in the financial assessment.
If you make your own arrangements to move into a care home, but are unable to pay the full charge until your house is sold, you may be able to get pension credit and other benefits while it is up for sale.
We also operate a scheme which will allow you to keep your property after the first 12 weeks of living in a care home, with part of the charges you will be expected to pay being deferred (these charges are based on the value of the property). This will mean that a legal charge will be placed on your property. For further information see the deferred payment agreements information.
If your financial circumstances change
We expect you to tell us if your financial circumstances change at any time. Each year we will review the amount you are due to pay. We will also take into account changes to benefit and pension levels.
If you have some extra support from another person
We are happy for you to receive extra financial assistance from someone other than your spouse. We will not count it as part of your income if you use it:
- to pay for something extra that the council would not provide; or
- to allow you to choose a more expensive care home than we would normally pay for.
If you make your own arrangements and move into a private care home, then your capital falls below £23,250
If you are already living in a care home and your capital falls below £23,250 (for the financial year 2021-22), ask us to arrange for a care manager to assess your care needs.
If you wish to stay in the same home, and we agree that the level of care provided meets your needs, then we may help with the cost. If you are living in a home which charges more for your care than we normally pay and you wish to stay there, you may arrange for a relative or friend to pay the difference. This is called a 'third party top-up payment' and it must be paid as part of an agreement between the person paying this additional amount and the care home. This amount cannot be paid out of your own capital or income.
For more information about social care charges, contact your local benefits assessment and charging team.