Financial Assessment for Care
Under the NHS and Community Care Act 1990, section 47, the Social Services department of your Local Authority (LA) has a statutory duty to assess your financial situation regarding the payment of care services. The financial assessment will either be offered to you or you can request one directly.
A major part of the financial assessment involves your local authority reviewing your income and capital to decide how much you may have to pay for care. If you live in England the threshold is £23,250. If you have this amount (or higher) of capital you will be assessed as being able to meet the full cost of your care.
If you have capital of £14,250 or under then your capital will be ignored in calculating how much you will have to contribute to the cost of care. If the amount of capital is between £14,250 and £23,250 then the level of contribution to your care costs is determined by allocating an income value of £1 for every £250 of capital.
Whatever the assessment based on your capital the local authority will then review your ability to pay based on the assessment of your income. It is vital that before the financial assessment is carried out that you are claiming all benefits for which you may be entitled to. This is extremely important, as the means test assumes your overall income based on what benefits you should also be in receipt of.
If you are receiving or will be receiving care in your own home, the value of your home is not counted within the means test.
In calculating your financial situation/wealth any assets jointly held, only the proportion you are deemed to own is taken into account. E.g. a couple have £30,000 in savings all in joint names, £15,000 would be deemed each persons capital.
Pension Credit provides a guaranteed minimum level of income (Guarantee Credit) by topping up your weekly income if it is below the threshold (£137.35 if you are single, £209.70 if you have a partner). These amounts may increase further depending on individual circumstances. For example, if you are disabled then any addition will be assessed at the time of application. Those aged 65 or over may also qualify for Savings Credit, you may receive this on its own or along with the Guarantee Credit. You may be entitled to savings credit if you or your partner are aged 65 or over and have made some provision for your retirement for example savings/investments or a second pension.
Council Tax Benefit
If you qualify for the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit then you would normally qualify to have your council tax paid in full. If you are not receiving the Guarantee Credit element and have savings in excess of £16,000 then you will not be eligible for Council Tax Benefit. The assessment to establish whether you qualify for support with your Council Tax if your savings are below £16,000 is based on your level of income and the amount of Council Tax that you pay
NHS Continuing Health Care and Funded Nursing Care
NHS Continuing Care is a package of care funded by the NHS. It helps to meet the physical and mental needs that a person has as a result of a disability, accident or illness. This can be provided in any setting, including your own home. The care is funded by your local Primary Care Trust. To qualify, you have to be assessed as having a ‘primary health’ need. Assessors will make this decision by looking at a person’s day-to-day needs. This can be done prior to discharge from a hospital, or when your health gets worse (i.e. if you are at home). To arrange an assessment you will need to speak to hospital staff or your GP. Consent to the assessment must be given by the person needing it, or in situations where they are unable to do so, the person holding Lasting Power of Attorney for their health and welfare will be required to do so.
To discuss your Live In Care finance options further please contact your nearest office