Paying For Long Term Residential Care – The Basics

To help a family determine what is right for their loved one, the Local Authority will carry out a needs assessment.  This is to determine whether or not there is an eligible need and whether it is suitable for that need to be met at a residential care or nursing home.

It is important to remember that, firstly, the needs assessment must be carried out regardless of a person’s financial situation. Secondly, the recommendation that a care or nursing home would be suitable is always the last option considered, as every effort will be made to explore suitable alternatives such as arranging increasing care in a person’s home or discussing warden-controlled accommodation.

If the needs assessment shows that a need exists that would be suitably met by a residential care placement, a means test will be carried out by the Local Authority. This will determine whether or not they will be expected to provide financial support. 

When carrying out an assessment, only a person’s own resources should be considered. Property, savings and income are all taken into account. The thresholds that a Local Authority work to are the same nationally. If a person has capital of under £14,250, their funds are fully disregarded.

If a person has between £14,250 and £23,500, for every £250 above the £14,250 you are treated as having an income of £1.00. Anything above £23,500 you must pay in full for your care until it is reduced to the £23,500.

The value of your property will be taken into account if you are shown to have a beneficial interest in it and the property value cannot be formally disregarded. A disregard is a circumstance which means that the property value has to be ignored. As an example, if one spouse will continue to live in the property after the other has gone into care the property value has to be ignored.

If the value of the property is taken into consideration, the Local Authority are under a duty to ensure that the value of the property is ignored for the first 12 weeks of a permanent care placement, this is to allow time for a sale or appropriate rental arrangements to be made.

Disregards can also be applied to some elements of income and to specific types of savings products.

Being involved in making arrangements for a loved one’s long term care arrangements is often very stressful. Dealing with adult Social Services for the first time can feel daunting especially if you are unclear on what your loved ones rights are or what they can expect from the Local Authority.

Please do contact our Private Client Team here at GoodyBurrett LLP who specialise in all types of elderly client work.    You can email Georgina direct [email protected] or call us on 01206 577676.







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Contact GoodyBurrett on 01206 577676 or email Georgina direct [email protected]