Clear and simple guidance to help older people find their way through the care maze
Local authorities usually charge for non-residential care (i.e. care at home). They use the "Fairer Charging Policy" set out in past legislation to work out how much you should pay. There are minimum requirements but local authorities can choose to be more generous if they wish. Each local authority may charge differently for non-residential care so we would suggest you refer to your local authority for their charging procedures. They will take into account your income and your capital (savings and investments). If you have capital (excluding your property) above £23,250 it is likely you will be asked to pay the full cost for your care. They may choose to disregard some state benefits, and some they have to disregard. They must leave you with adequete income as set out in the legislation.
If you require residential care and your assets are, or were to fall, below the local authority upper funding limit (currently £23,250), and you had been assessed as needing residential or nursing care, the local authority will top up your income to the amount that they would usually pay for care.
If you have assets over £23,250 then you would be expected to pay the full cost of your care.
We will cover both local authority and self-funding in a while.
There is sometimes a big difference between a care home's fee and the amount your local authority will be willing to pay. If you are self funding it would be wise to ask a care home "what happens if my money runs out". They may accept local authority funding, or local authority funding along with a top up.
If you or your family cannot afford to pay the top up you could be asked to move to a less expensive room, or even to another care home that accepts local authority funding. It would be wise to consider speaking to a specialist care funding adviser to consider all the options you have.
Ask your local authority for a list of care homes that will accept their funding if you will be funded by them, or believe it is likely you will be funded by the local authority in the near future.