Paying for care

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Resources' started by Chris, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. Chris

    Chris Registered User

    May 20, 2003
    243
    Local Authority Financial Assessments

    Info from Help the Aged - September 2004
    The Help the Aged website has lots of information sheets & these are kept up to date.

    Here is an extract about what happens to a persons house when they move into a care home.

    "The local authority may also ignore the value of the house if it is the permanent home of someone like a carer; they don't have to do this, but they can choose to. " See Below.,

    Paying for a place in a care home

    Local authority payment rules
    Free nursing care in England and Wales
    Free personal and nursing care in Scotland
    Free nursing care in Northern Ireland
    Giving away property and savings

    Local authority payment rules

    If your local authority has agreed that you need to move into a care home, then it is responsible for paying the fees directly to the home. You then have to pay the local authority back, making a contribution to the cost of your care. How much you have to pay is worked out according to these rules:

    In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the savings limits usually go up every April.
    The rates here are for the year from April 2004. The limits in each country are as follows:
    Upper Limit England and Northern Ireland £20,000
    Scotland £19,000
    Wales £20,500
    Lower Limit England and Northern Ireland £12,250
    Scotland £11,750
    Wales £13,500


    If you have more than the upper limit in savings you will have to pay full fees for the care home. If you own your own home, its value will usually be counted as 'capital' if you remain in care as a permanent resident. This usually means that you will be expected to sell it to pay the fees. If you don't wish to sell your house the local authority can allow you to make deferred payments by giving you an interest-free loan which is claimed back when your property is eventually sold. In Northern Ireland the local health and social services trust is not obliged to do this but can use its discretion.
    For the first 12 weeks in care the value of your home will be disregarded from the means test.
    There are some circumstances when you will not have to sell your house. If your husband or wife (or unmarried partner) lives in the house then its value will be ignored when your income is assessed. Similarly, if a close relative over the age of 60 or under the age of 16, or a relative under the age of 60 who is 'incapacitated' needs to go on living there, then again the value of the house will not be counted. The local authority may also ignore the value of the house if it is the permanent home of someone like a carer; they don't have to do this, but they can choose to.
    If you have less than the upper limit in savings, or when your savings drop to this level, then your income and what savings you do have, will be taken into account to work out how much you will pay towards the home fees. Savings below the lower limit are ignored altogether, while savings between the lower and upper limits are converted into a weekly income using a simple formula.
    Your income is worked out by calculating what money you have coming in each week. This includes the income from your savings, any pension you receive, whether State Retirement Pension or an occupational or personal pension, and any income from state benefits, such as Pension Credit. If you are living in a care home and your income is low, you may be able to claim Pension Credit. This will then go towards home fees.
    Your local authority will want to make sure that you are claiming all the state benefits that you are entitled to. This is because they will take this money into account when working out your contribution. When deciding how much you have to pay towards the fees, the local authority must always leave you with some money to spend as you wish each week - a personal expenses allowance. (The Government decides how much this will be each April.) Any income you have over this level will go to the local authority to cover your care costs, up to the full amount of the fees.
    The local authority should tell you how it has worked out how much you will pay. Ask for this information in writing. Make sure you understand exactly what is included in the fees and know what you will have to pay for yourself. For example, will you have to pay for toiletries, phone calls, outings or clothing from your personal expenses allowance, or are any of these things included in the fees?

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    NHS funded nursing care in England and Wales

    If the local authority assesses you as needing nursing care, the NHS will pay an amount directly to the care home towards the cost of your nursing care. (If the local authority does not assess you as needing nursing care this scheme will not apply to you.)

    If you pay your own fees this should mean that you see a reduction in how much you have to pay. This is because the NHS will pay an amount towards your nursing care, direct to the care home.
    If most of your fees are paid by the local authority then the NHS will still contribute towards the cost of your nursing care, but the amount you pay will not be affected.
    If you pay part of your fees and the local authority pays part of your fees, you may get a reduction.
    The amount the NHS contributes depends on which band of nursing care you need. This is decided in an assessment carried out by an NHS nurse, arranged by the local authority.

    If you disagree with the level of nursing care that you have been assessed as needing you should ask the nursing home co-ordinator for a review of your case. The nursing home co-ordinator (care home co-ordinator in Wales) is based at the Primary Care Trust (health board in Wales) and is responsible for the nurses who carry out the assessments. If you are still dissatisfied you can ask to be referred to the strategic health authority (health authority in Wales) for a further review.

    In England:

    If you are assessed as being in the highest band your care home will receive £125 per week from the NHS towards your fees.
    If you are assessed as being in the middle band your care home will receive £77.50 per week from the NHS towards your fees.
    If you are assessed as being in the low band your care home will receive at least £40 per week from the NHS towards your fees. In some cases, the NHS may provide nursing care direct or pay more than £40.
    In Wales:

    Your care home will receive a flat rate of £105 per week towards your fees.
    For more detailed advice on how these financial arrangements work, see our sections on, paying for residential care and, paying for residential care: problems with local authority funding. If you would like some advice on your
     

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