Paying for Nursing Homes - State funded
If you are considering a move to a nursing home, either for yourself or for someone you love, it is important that you consider the financial implications of your decision. It is recommended that you seek professional advice if you are in any doubt about whether you are entitled to help with care home fees, but here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions:
Will the State fund my care home?
Funding for care homes is means tested by your Local Authority. If you have capital of below £27,000, you should be entitled to receive some level of financial support. If your total capital is less than £17,000, you will be entitled to full financial support but will need to contribute your total income, less a small personal allowance (currently, set at £23.90 a week).
If my care home is state-funded, can I still choose where I go?
Even if you receive state funding, you can choose your own care home; it doesn’t even need to be in England! In order to receive funding, the home that you choose must be appropriate for your needs, as assessed by the local authority. It must comply with any terms and conditions specified by your Local Authority and must cost the same, or less than, what the Local Authority would usually pay for someone with your care needs.
Can I choose a care home that costs more than my Local Authority will pay?
You can choose a nursing home with fees that are greater than the Local Authority is willing to pay, as long as there is a third party who is willing to top up those fees over the long term. If you have capital of under £27,000, you are not able to top up the fees yourself. This is because the amount of funding you get is calculated on your actual capital between £14,250 and £27,000. This will have two consequences: by using that capital to top up your fees, you will be entitled to greater financial support; and your limited capital will quickly diminish, potentially leaving you unable to top up your nursing home fees in the long term.
My partner or spouse needs to go into a nursing home. Will it affect me?
If you are part of a couple and one of you needs to go into a nursing home, only the person who needs care will be means tested. If one of you is going to stay in your shared home, it will be disregarded for means testing. In addition, only half (50%) of any joint income, such as a pension, will be taken into account, and half of any joint savings.
I was paying for my nursing home but I have run out of money - will I be entitled to state funding?
Once your capital drops to below £27,000, you will be entitled to some level of state funding. In order to prepare for this eventuality, it is advisable that you contact your Local Authority and enquire about getting a full assessment of your care needs, and that you check with your care provider that they can still accommodate you at the Local Authority funding rates, or if they will need you to top up your fees.
If you are in any doubt about whether or not you or someone you love should receive funding for a residential care home, seek advice from your social services, Local Authority or another professional body. If you would like help finding nursing homes in your area that support funded residents, please contact us.