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.
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.
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.
Whilst the Government had previously announced that from October 2023:
In the Autumn statement 2022 they have decided to postpone these until at least 2025 at the earliest.
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.
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
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