Local Authority Assistance or Government Support

If someone needs to transfer to a care home what Government support can they expect?

If an individual has capital above the upper threshold level they won’t be entitled to assistance from the Local Authority until such a time as their capital falls below the stated amount. Financial thresholds differ from country to country:

Country Upper Threshold Lower Threshold
England £23,250 £14,250
Wales £23,500 £23,500
Scotland £24,750 £15,250
Northern Ireland £23,250 £14,250

Most savings and assets are included in the means test, but some confusion has surrounded the subject of regardless of whether a person’s home is included or not, to further clarify the situation, a person’s home is not included in the means test if:

– The spouse or civil partner still resides in the home
– If a relative over 60 resides in the house
– If a disabled relative lives at the property
– If a child under 18 lives in the property
– The person is in the first twelve weeks of needing permanent care
– The care is being provided on a temporary basis

The 12 week Property Disregard

As already mentioned, a persons’ home or property is excluded from the means test for the first twelve weeks following admission to a care home and once a permanent contract is established. This means that if their remaining capital falls inside the current threshold then the local authority should help with the payment of the care fees.

It merits noting that they will generally pay only up to their published limits, which may leave a person with a deficit and what is referred to as a “top up” situation. It’ll be up to the client themselves to cover any difference in actual care fees and the local authority contribution during this 12 week period.

The money paid out by the local authority during the first twelve weeks is not repayable.

Deferred Payment Agreement

If, after the first twelve weeks the home and property hasn’t been sold, the local authority could pay for the care fees, under the “deferred payment agreement”.

The money is repayable once the property has sold or if the resident dies (called the event), but for the most part the loan is interest-free, providing the money owed is paid back within 56 days of the event.

If more than 56 days elapse after the event, the local authority will begin to charge interest on the loan.

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