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Care Fees Funding

Planning in advance for potential long-term care is a critical aspect of financial security and peace of mind. By arranging finances, protecting assets, and putting necessary documents in place beforehand, the process becomes more straightforward and more manageable when the need for care arises.

Given the complexity of the laws surrounding long-term care and the significant costs involved, which average between £35,000 and £60,000 per year, it is essential to be adequately informed and prepared. By seeking specialist advice and taking proactive steps, you can ensure that your care is tailored to your needs and financially sustainable, allowing you and your family peace of mind regarding your future wellbeing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How We Can Help with Long-Term Care Planning

At Onions & Davies, we specialise in assisting clients with planning for long-term care, sometimes many years in advance. Our director-led team is also experienced in providing advice on funding alternatives, when entering care.”

Chris Milne, Solicitor, Director, and Head of the Private Client team is an accredited member of STEP (The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) and the Law Society’s Private Client section. He is also a full member of Solicitors for the Elderly, a national organisation comprised of lawyers with expertise in this area of law, and holds the Older Client Care in Practice accreditation.

Our highly skilled and experienced team will help you consider your specific family circumstances and are well-equipped to offer valuable guidance and support. We can also offer specialist advice regarding drafting key legal documents that should be considered, including wills, advance decisions, and lasting powers of attorney, ensuring you have attorneys of your choice to look after your finances and welfare needs if you lose the mental capacity to do so in the future.

Getting advice early on can help put your mind at ease. If you are looking for care fees planning and funding advice, please contact our specialist elderly client solicitors for more details at sols@onionsanddavies.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paying for Care at Home and Care Home Funding

Care fees funding is a crucial aspect to consider when planning long-term care, whether for yourself or a loved one. Various sources can contribute to the payment of care fees, including individuals, local authorities, health authorities, and family members. The decision on how to fund care depends on several factors, such as your specific care needs, financial resources, and the type of care home you go into.

For those receiving care in their own homes or care homes, it’s essential to understand the different payment options available and plan accordingly. Here are some key aspects to consider when exploring care fees funding:

  • What type of care is needed:

The level of care required will directly influence the costs involved, which include personal care, nursing care, or a combination of both. Depending on the services provided, different care providers and settings might have varying fee structures.

  • What are the financial means:

Assessing your financial resources, savings, and assets is essential to determine how much you can contribute towards care fees. Your eligibility for public funding and benefits will depend on your financial situation.

  • Self-funding:

Once your care needs have been determined, how that care will be paid for needs to be ascertained. There will be a financial assessment to examine your income (private and state) and your capital. Apart from around £25 per week, all your income will be used to pay for your care. The amount you are left with is your personal expenses allowance. If the value of your capital assets is over a certain threshold (£23,250 since April 2010), then you will be fully self-funding, and you will have to pay all of your care costs. If that is the case, you will be entitled to claim Attendance Allowance to boost your income, which might be paid at different rates depending on your care needs. Certain capital assets are disregarded in the means test, including jointly owned property, certain insurance-based investments and assets within trusts (among others). If you are self-funding, your contract for the care services you receive will be directly between you and the care home.

  • Local authority funding:

If the value of your capital assets is below the threshold mentioned above, you will be entitled to receive a contribution towards your care fees from the local authority. There is a lower threshold (£14,250 since April 2010) and if the value of your capital assets is above this, then every £250 worth of capital above this threshold will not count as capital but will count as an extra £1 per week income. The local authority will have a capped rate of contribution and so will only pay up to a certain amount per week. This amount includes your own contribution from income. If this capped amount is not enough to pay the full amount of the fees, then you may need to rely on the third-party top-up described below. If you enter care temporarily, then the value of your property cannot be included in the assessment of your capital. The same applies to the first 12 weeks of your permanent stay in care. Therefore, you may receive local authority assistance for an initial period and then become self-funding. If you are self-funding but do not have the money available to pay, for example, if it is tied up in the value of a property which has not sold, then it is possible to sign up to the local authority Deferred Loan Scheme. This is a scheme whereby the local authority will lend you the money to pay the care fees. It will attract interest and will be secured by a charge over your property. It should be paid back when the property is sold, and the money released. Finally, if the local authority contributes to the payment of your care fees, then you will lose your entitlement to Attendance Allowance and your income will be reduced accordingly.

  • Third-party top-up:

Where the cost of care in a particular home is more than the amount being paid by you from your income plus the local authority contribution, taking it up to the capped rate, your choice is either not to stay in that home (if there is an alternative) or to stay there and rely on a third-party top-up. Apart from in certain specific circumstances, you are not allowed to pay your own top-up, so a family member will be asked by the local authority to sign an agreement which makes them liable to pay the extra fees.

Family members are not obliged to pay the top-up. Still, likewise, if alternative suitable care homes are available, the local authority is not obliged to place you in the more expensive one. It sometimes happens that as a person’s assets decrease through the payment of care fees, they go below the threshold, and the local authority starts contributing. The level of fees might be higher than the total capped rate, and there may be no-one able or willing to pay the top-up. In these circumstances, the resident may have to move home unless the home itself agrees to receive a lower fee or there is no other suitable home which can meet the resident’s needs.

  • Health authority funding:

In some cases, the health authority may cover the cost of care if it’s deemed to be primarily healthcare-related. This would typically apply to individuals with complex medical needs. An assessment by a healthcare professional would be necessary to determine eligibility for this type of funding.

In summary, payment of care fees requires careful consideration of various factors, including the type of care needed, financial means, and available funding sources. With proper planning and consultation, the right combination of payment options can be identified to ensure that long-term care is adequately funded and sustainable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenging Decisions

It is possible to challenge the decisions that are made regarding how your care is to be funded. These challenges can be made through the local authority and health authority complaints procedures, review panels and even to the appropriate Ombudsmen.

It is also worth remembering that your care needs will change over time, sometimes worsening, or with the proper care, becoming better. It is always possible for you or your family to occasionally request a reassessment.

We strive to make each client feel confident and reassured while confronting any legal challenge they may encounter. With our unwavering commitment to exceptional service, you can trust us to be on your side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get in Touch with Our Elderly Client Team

We aim to provide personal, individual service in a clear and friendly way without compromising the quality of advice. We do this by combining highly qualified and experienced solicitors with carefully selected support staff.

Contact us to speak to one of our experienced elderly client lawyers for friendly, clear and, above all, practical advice. Please call our team on 01630 652405 or visit: meet the team.   

Contact Us

91 Cheshire Street, Market Drayton, Shropshire TF9 3AF | Email us | Call us 01630 652 405

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© 2018 Onions & Davies. Onions & Davies Solicitors is the trading name of Onions & Davies Ltd, Company Reg. No. 8322297, Registered Office address: 91 Cheshire Street, Market Drayton, Shropshire, TF9 3AF. Onions & Davies is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA ID Number: 607617)