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Care Home Financial Information - Permanent Basis

Financial Information about Permanent Residential and Nursing Care

Postal Address Adult Services (Finance), Room 4.14, Council Offices, Wellington Road, Ashton-under-Lyne, OL6 6DL.
Telephone Number 0161 342 3220 Minicom Number 0161 342 3361 Fax Number 0161 342 2248

 Introduction

This webpage is for people who are going into a care home (residential and nursing home) on a permanent basis. It explains about the costs of moving into a home and how you can get help towards those costs.

The webpage tries to answer the most common financial questions we get asked about care homes. Please note that rules on financial assessments and charges payable are subject to change. If you would like any points explaining further or to find out if any amendments have taken place since this publication, please do not hesitate to contact Adult Services (Finance) on 0161 342 3220.

If you have already had a fairer charging assessment conducted (e.g. because you receive care at home normally or attend a day centre) that has taken place within the last financial year, your financial assessment will be based upon this information. However, if you are not normally in receipt of services in the community, a visit will be arranged by a member of staff from the Adult Finance Service who will collect financial information concerning your income and capital and also advise you on of any benefits that you may be entitled to. The visit will be arranged once notification of your placement has been submitted to the Adult Finance Service.

In circumstances where it has not been possible to arrange a visit, you will be sent a financial information form HQ115 to complete and return. If this is not returned with 14 days you will be assessed to pay the full cost of your placement.

We realise that this is a difficult time for you and your relatives and although the Finance Section will try to answer any of your financial questions, you might like to consider taking independent legal and financial advice about your options.

If English is not your first language and you would like language support from a  bi-lingual worker, we will be able to arrange this as part of your assessment.

 The Financial Assessment


 Will I have to pay towards my placement?

Yes - everyone has to pay something towards their care. If you have been assessed by us as needing long term care, we have to carry out a financial assessment.

The amount you will have to pay towards the costs of your stay in a care home depends on your income and capital. We provide some examples below, but please note that there may be other types that we have to consider. For all income and capital, we must see evidence of up-to-date balances, for example bank statements.

 What is counted as income?

Income means regular payments that you receive. It includes:

  • the Retirement Pension
  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • private or occupational pensions
  • any annuities or trust funds

 What is counted as capital?

Capital is your savings and property. Savings include:

  • Bank or building society accounts
  • National Savings Certificates
  • Bonds
  • PEPs
  • TESSAs
  • ISAs
  • Shares

These could be in your sole name or jointly owned. Where it is held in joint names, you should show your share only and clearly mark the Financial Assessment Form (HQ115) 497.72 KB PDF File to identify this.

You can get this form from the Adult Services (Finance) on 0161 342 3220.

Please note that the Council may ask your spouse to contribute towards your accommodation if they believe that they have sufficient resources to do so.

 What is the Financial Assessment Form (HQ115)?

HQ115 497.72 KB PDF File is the form you fill out, detailing your financial details. We can work out your contribution to the cost of your stay from this. Please make sure you do complete and return the form. If you do not, we will not be able to work out accurately your contribution to the cost of your stay and will have to charge you the full cost.

If another person completes the form on your behalf, they must have legal authority and enclose evidence of that authority with the form, for example the order for power of attorney.

If you would like help in completing the form, please contact the Adult Services (Finance) on 0161 342 3220.

 How do we calculate your contribution?

When working out your contribution, we take into account your capital and income.

Capital:

If your capital is less than £14,250, we will just look at your income when working out your contribution.

For every £250 (or part thereof) you have between £14,250 and £23,250 you are treated as if you have another £1 per week in your income. For example, if you have £14,500 we will assume that you have an extra £1 per week income. Another example would be if you have savings of £23,250 you would be assessed to have an additional £36 per week income. We will add whatever this amount is to any other weekly income you have when we work out your contribution based on that income.

If you have more than £23,250 in capital you must pay the full cost of the care home. This excludes the registered nursing care payment for nursing placements.

To find out the current full cost of a placement in a care home, please contact us on 0161 342 3220.

Income:

In general, most of your income, including benefits, goes towards the cost of your care.

The amount you are allowed to keep for your own personal needs is £24.40 per week.

 What if the fees of the home that I have chosen are more expensive than Adult Services (Finance) regard as reasonable?

If the cost of the home you have chosen is more than the maximum rates for this local authority, a third party, often a friend or relative, will be required to cover the shortfall. They must enter into a formal agreement. Find out what the maximum rates are by contacting us on 0161 342 3220.

However, it is possible for clients who are subject to a 12 week property disregard or Deferred Payments Scheme to pay the third party payment from their own capital.

You must not use your weekly personal allowance to pay for the difference.

 How am I told the amount I have to pay?

When you have handed in your Financial Assessment form, Adult Services (Finance) will notify you in writing of the amount that you have to pay. If you have any questions about the amount, please contact us 0161 342 3220.

 Benefits


 Will going into permanent care affect any benefits that I claim now?

If you are receiving financial help towards the cost of your stay from the Local Authority your Attendance Allowance/Disability Living Allowance (Care Component) will stop after 28 days of entering permanent residential/nursing care.

 Will owning my own property affect my benefits?

The value of your property does not count for the first 12 weeks of your permanent placement, but it will be included after 12 weeks (if it is sold within the first 12 weeks the proceeds will be taken into account as part of the financial assessment). This is called the 12 week disregard period.

During this 12-week disregard period, payment of any Attendance Allowance or Care Component of the Disability Living Allowance should stop after a maximum of 28 days for as long as the Local Authority is assisting with the funding of your placement. For more advice on this matter, please contact the:

Postal Address Disability Benefits Centre, Warbreck House, Warbreck Hill Road, Blackpool, FY2 0YE
Telephone Number 08457 123456.

 Nursing Care


 What are registered Nursing care payments?

All residents in a nursing placement have their care provided by a registered nurse paid for by the Primary Care Trust (local health). A registered nurse will assess each resident. The Primary Care Trust will subject to meeting the criteria for registered nursing care, pay £110.89 per week.

This amount will be paid directly to the care home. This will not affect your contribution unless you are paying the full cost of your placement. In those cases you should check that your weekly fees have been reduced accordingly.

A booklet entitled "NHS funded Nursing Care in Nursing Homes ­ What it means for you" is available from the Department of Health Link to External Website or telephone 08701 555455.

 Your Property


 What happens if I own a house?

The value of a house or any other property or land you own will be taken into account when working out your contribution towards your care.

For the first 12 weeks of your permanent placement the value of your property does not count, but it will be included after 12 weeks (or its cash value if it is sold before 12 weeks).

In the following circumstances, your property will not be taken into account in calculating your weekly contribution:

  • Your partner (providing you are not divorced or separated) remains in the property
  • A relative aged 60 or over remains in the property
  • A relative aged 16 or under (who is your responsibility) remains in the property
  • A relative who is incapacitated in some way remains in the property

The Local Authority has discretion, in certain circumstances, to disregard the value of the property. For example, if your long term carer continues to live there or if selling the house would cause hardship for someone who has been sharing your home on a permanent basis. In such circumstances, you will need to provide a written request for a disregard to be made and give the facts in support of your request. We will notify you in writing of the outcome of the Local Authority decision.

If you do not take steps to sell your property your Pension Credit may be affected. Please contact the Department of Works and Pensions (your local Pensions Service office for those over sixty; your local Job Centre for those under sixty) for further advice.

 What happens if I have trouble selling my house?

If after the initial 12 weeks have expired, you have not sold your property, the value of your home will be taken into account in your financial assessment. We ask you to submit two valuations of the property.

The Local Authority will then use the valuation figure to work out your charge as if it were an amount of savings available to you. Obviously you will not be able to pay the weekly amount due in respect of the property and therefore this will be allowed to accumulate as a debt until the sale of the house takes place.

The Local Authority will place a legal charge (a form of mortgage deed) on the house with the Land Registry. This means that the charge has to be paid when the house is sold. This protects the amount of money owed to the Local Authority.

When the house is eventually sold, your solicitor should send details of the net proceeds of sale to Adult Services (Finance). They will then be able to ensure that the correct figure has been used in calculating the arrears that are due at that time.

The Local Authority is not allowed to charge interest on the balance outstanding unless you die before the property is sold. In these circumstances, interest will be charged on the balance outstanding from that date until the sale takes place.

 What if I own a former council house purchased under the 'Right to Buy' scheme?

If the house which you own is a former council house bought under the 'Right to Buy' scheme and somebody else has helped you with the purchase, it may be possible to disregard the value (or proportion of its value). The person who helped with the purchase needs to provide acceptable evidence of their contribution.

This is not an automatic disregard and each case has to be judged on its individual merits. Evidence should be submitted with your financial assessment form (HQ115A/B) and you will be notified of the outcome of the Local Authority's decision in writing.

 What is the Deferred Payment Scheme?

This is a scheme that allows you to put off the sale of your home during your lifetime. At the end of your 12 week property disregard period, you can apply to Adult Services (Finance) for continuing help with the cost of your care.

The rules for taking advantage of the scheme are:

  • You do not have income or savings over £23,250 other than the value of your property
  • You do not wish to or cannot sell your home or the sale will not be completed quickly enough to meet the cost of your care
  • You have a beneficial interest in the property
  • Your property is worth over £23,250
  • There is no outstanding mortgage, or the outstanding mortgage will leave sufficient equity to fund the cost of your care

The granting of a Deferred Payment Agreement is not automatic. You should notify the Local Authority of your request to enter into an agreement prior to the 12 week disregard period ending, and give detailed reasons why you are unable or reluctant to sell your property.

If your request for a Deferred Payment Scheme is refused, we will notify you in writing about the decision. If you are not satisfied with the decision, we will give you details of how to make a complaint.

 How does the Deferred Payment Scheme work?

  • It starts at the end of the 12 week property disregard period.
  • You will continue to pay a weekly contribution assessed from your income, capital and benefit entitlement. This is termed 'an affordable amount'.
  • The Local Authority will make up any shortfall. This is the difference between the total cost of your payment and the 'affordable amount'. You will need to enter into a formal agreement with the Local Authority to repay the loan when you sell your property or leave the care home. As part of the agreement a legal charge will be registered against the property.
  • On entry into the scheme, you will have to pay for the cost of any legal expenses such as the associated Land Registry searches.
  • You or your estate would only pay the deferred contributions when you sell your property or if you leave residential/nursing care or on your death. There will be no interest charges until the day after the agreement ends, that is after you leave or the house is sold or 56 days after your death.
  • If you are not in receipt of Pension Credit and are subject to a Deferred Payment Agreement, you should still be entitled to Attendance Allowance (or the Care Component of Disability Living Allowance) if you were previously eligible. You should contact the Disability Benefits Centre (08457 123456) for further advice on this matter.

There are some things that you may want to consider before entering into an agreement under the Deferred Payments Scheme and you are strongly advised to seek independent financial and legal advice.

  • You will need to maintain the empty property, pay for insurance on the building and contents, and pay heating bills to save the property from damp and frost.
  • If you rent out the property, the income will have to be used to contribute towards your care home cost, but will reduce the amount of the loan under the Scheme.
  • By not putting the property on the market you will probably not be entitled to Pension Credit which will increase the amount of the loan.
  • When a legal charge is registered, you will not be able to sell the property or transfer ownership until the amount of the loan has been repaid.

 What happens if I give away my home?

We have a duty to protect public funds. Therefore, if you have disposed of your home, savings or assets we must check to see if a significant reason for that disposal was a desire to avoid paying for or towards residential or nursing care. We realise that individual circumstances do vary so please contact Adult Services (Finance) if you have any questions (0161 342 3220).

 Change of Circumstances


 What happens if my circumstances change?

Changes include:

  • An increase or decrease in your income or capital. For example, you may initially be self funding and your capital falls below £23,250. Although you will not be able to claim income support at this stage, the local authority will start to pay for part of the cost of your placement. This will depend on what income you receive from other sources such as an occupational pension.
  • A property that was previously disregarded no longer falls within the disregard criteria. For example, a relative aged 60 or over moves out.

If you think your circumstances have changed, please do not hesitate to contact us 0161 342 3220.

 What if I am a Self Funder and paying for my own care?

If you are paying for your own care, you are considered to be "Self funding". If you are a Self funder and not receiving any of our adult care services you are still entitled to help, information and advice about staying in your own home or moving into a care home.

Our Customer Care Officers will be pleased to advise you and can make home visits if necessary. We can provide information in a wide range of different formats and will provide an interpreter if necessary. Additionally, highly trained Welfare Rights Officers are available and can advise you about benefits, allowances and pension entitlements.

 Other useful information

 Safeguarding Adults

If you are being abused or suspect that somebody you know is being abused in any way, please do not ignore it. You can report your concerns or worries by contacting the Safeguarding Adults Team.

You do not have to give your name and any information will be treated confidentially. We will always respect the wishes and feelings of the person at risk of abuse.

 Complaints, Suggestions and Compliments

If you would like to make a complaint, suggestion or compliment about our service please contact your Social Worker or the manager of that service.

If you have made a complaint and are unhappy with the response you get contact:

Postal Address The Complaints Manager, Council Offices, Wellington Road,Ashton-under-Lyne,Tameside, OL6 6DL

Telephone Number 0161 342 5233 Minicom Number 0161 342 5265 

You may also find the following information useful.

 

Page last updated: 12 June 2014