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Paying for care in England

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Paying for care is means tested. If you do not qualify for free care under HNS Continuing Care and need care in a care home, your Local Authority has a duty to financially assess you to see whether you need to pay for your own care or not - the so called Means Test.


Current Means Testing for Long Term Care in England

Local Authorities in England will only pay for care is they agree you need the care, and your savings and investments are less than currently £23,250 (2022-23) although from October 2023 this will increase to £100,000*.

Assets included in this means test, not only includes the value of; ordinary savings accounts, ISA’s, shares, premium bonds, national savings as well as any investment properties you personally own, it will also include 50% of any jointly held assets and normally include the value of your main residence - unless your spouse, civil partner or partner will remain living in it.

It is hardly surprising therefore, that many people have to pay for their own care.

This is when professional long term care advice becomes invaluable in helping you ensure you will be able to continue funding your chosen care.


Tariff Income

If your capital falls in between the upper and lower capital thresholds (£23,250 & £14,250 in 2022-23), any capital greater than £14,250 gets converted into additional “notional or tariff income” at the arbitrary rate of £ 1 per week additional income, for every £250 of capital greater than £14,250.

This is then added to any actual income received (including most benefits, or any which you could be entitled to if you claimed them), but excluding:-

a) your Personal Expenses Allowance (currently, £27.19 per week 2022-23)
b) if you are married or have a partner who needs some of your pension to continue living at home - 50% of any private pensions you receive).  

The resulting assessable income is then compared to the actual cost of care. If your combined weekly income figure exceeds the cost of care, once again you would need to pay for your own care until your capital reduced to such a level as your total assessable income didn't meet the cost of care. 

If your total assessable income is less than the amount it would cost your Local Authority to provide or buy the assessed level of care, the local authority funds the difference. Please remember, however, that a) this maximum rate may still not be sufficient to meet the full cost of your chosen care and b) it doesn’t mean it’s free, you would still be expected to pay them all of your income except the Personal Expenses Allowance and 50% of any private pension but only if you need to and do pay this, to a spouse or partner to live on. 

If the care you want, or is currently being received, is more than the maximum Local Authority rate other family members will need to pay the difference or find a care home willing to accept just the local authority’s rate. 

Should your assessable capital exceed £23,250 (2022-23) and you need to self-fund, you may wish to receive professional care fees advice and look at how much a care fees annuity might cost.

*Social Care Changes:

Whilst the Government has announced that from October 2023:

  • The thresholds for qualifying for Local Authority funding in England will rise to £20,000 and £100,000
  • There will be cap on personal contribution for care fees of £86,000.

We are still waiting final details it is becoming increasing clear these changes will not be as generous as they may seem because:

  • You need to be assessed by your Local Authority as needing care for any fees paid by yourself to qualify towards the cap – any voluntary care you pay for will not count.
  • Tariff Income will still be assessed on any savings between £20,000 - £100,000 at the same rates as now £1 p.w. for every £250 of capital which will mean anyone with £100,000 in savings would be assessed as having a further £320 per week income which together with their pensions and state benefits may mean their income exceeds the cost their Local Authority would need to pay.
  • Only payments made for your “personal care” element will count towards the cap not any fees charged for Living costs such as your room or food in a care home.
  • Only personal care fees incurred after October 2023 will count and even then, it seems as though it will only rate your Local Authority would need to pay that would be counted, not necessarily the fees charged by the care home or care agency chosen by yourself.

So, although at time of publication (13/12/2021) we still await further clarification, it could take much longer than it may first seem for you to qualify and therefore for a variety of reasons you may still need to consider paying for your own care.

Long Term Care Advice

If you need to pay for care and would like some professional help we would be pleased to help. You can call us for free on 0800 180 4336 or request an appointment below.

Ensuring Quality Care

If you need to pay for your own care, a care fees annuity will not only offer tremendous peace of mind, but will also enable your parent or relative to continue receiving the care they deserve.

To discover just how much a care fees annuity might cost, request your FREE quotes today from our specialists Care Financial.





Please note: These plans are not offered direct by the insurers

A Simple Guide To Care Fee Annuities

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