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Care Fees Myths

View profile for Fiona McLeish
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Out of the 15 million people who are aged 65 or over in the UK, approximately 400,000 (2.6%) will move into a care home at some point in their lives.

Knowing what you or a family member should be paying for living in a care home is not an easy question. Long term residential care is expensive and so it is important to understand your funding position and options.

Although no formal statistics are available it is thought that half of care home residents pay for their fees themselves.  Residents who pay for their own care are known as self-funders. The other half are made up of those whose care is paid in whole or in part by the local authority or the NHS.

There is much misinformation in the public domain that, if someone enters care they will be left with nothing to leave to their families when they pass away. So let's debunk some of the myths:

  • If your capital is more than £23,250 (and you are not eligible for additional funding) you will need to pay for your own care – capital includes not only the value of your property but also any cash savings or investments;
  • When your capital is less than £23,250 you will pay a contribution to your care known as a "tariff" income;
  • If your capital is less than £14,250 you will be eligible for Local Authority funding.
  • Your home will not automatically be "taken" or sold for care fees;
  • You cannot just give your assets to someone else to avoid paying for care. This is called deliberate deprivation and  it can be overridden by the Local Authority; and
  • There is no time limit for how long the Local authority can investigate deliberate deprivation of assets.
  • If your medical needs are assessed as fulfilling the criteria for Continuing Healthcare NHS funding then no matter how much money you have in terms of capital and income, the NHS will fund your care.
  • Top up fees cannot be paid from the funds of the person who requires care and any such top-up fee arrangement for payment of fees for a particular care home over and above what a local authority is willing to fund is a separate contractual arrangement with the third party (which is often a relative of the person receiving care).

Our team has successfully reviewed and challenged Local Authority assessments for care fee funding to ensure that our clients receive the correct level of funding.

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