Will I need to sell the family home to pay for care?

If you're looking into having Home Care visits then the good news is that you will not need to sell your home to fund your care.

Your home is not considered within any financial assessments as it is entirely impractical to receive home care without a home!

Before determining whether you will required to sell your home to fund moving into a Care Home or Nursing Home it is important to understand your unique circumstances. There are a number of provisos which would prevent you from having to sell your own home, dependent on whether your require residential or nursing care.

Residential Care Home

It is first important to say that if you have financial assets (money in the bank, investment income, savings etc.) other than your family home which can be used to fund your care, then you are of course at liberty to do so.

If your home is the permanent residence of any of the individuals stated below then you will not be required to sell your home:

  • A spouse or civil partner
  • A lone parent who is the person’s who needs the cares estranged or divorced partner
  • A close relative of the person needing care who is aged 60 or over; is a child of the person and under 18 years old; is incapacitated

The disregard only applies if the home has been continuously occupied by any of the individuals stated above prior to the person requiring care.

Help! I need care now but haven't sold my home yet...

We all know that selling your home takes time, the time it takes to sell a property is entirely unpredictable and relies on so many factors that are outside of your control. If your need for care is immediate then you simply don’t have time to wait for your home to sell before moving into a residential care home.

In instances such as these, your Local Authority should step in and fund your care for the first 12 weeks, this is known as the ‘12 week Property Disregard’ - details of which are below.

12 Week Property Disregard

Provided your savings and assets other than your house total less than £23,250 your Local Authority may deem you eligible for the 12 week Property Disregard. This specific type of funding provides you with financial support for the first 12 weeks of moving into a care home, the aim is to prevent people being forced to sell their home at time of crisis and to instead focus on their care needs.

The local authority will only pay the difference between your assessable income (cash, savings, income investments etc.) and the local authority’s standard contribution towards the care cost.

For example, if your local authority’s standard contribution is £500 per week and you have assessable income of £300 per week, they will be paying just £200 per week towards your care costs. This money (i.e. the £200 per week contribution x 12 weeks) does not have to be repaid to the local authority.

If after the 12 weeks the property has still not been sold, the Local Authority should be able to lend the money for the cost of care, this is referred to as a Deferred Payment Agreement (DPA) but does come with interest charges and an eligibility criteria.

Nursing Care

The criteria for whether you will be required to sell your own home to fund nursing care is exactly the same as residential care bar if you are eligible for fully funded nursing care.

For people who have ongoing nursing care needs, then they might be eligible for Continuing Healthcare (CHC). The funding is awarded by the NHS and allows people to have their primary care needs tended to outside of a hospital setting.

Find out more about the different types of funding for nursing care here.

Still not sure if you will need to sell the house?

If you are still unsure if your house will be considered as part of any funding assessment to pay for your care costs, please give our specialist care advisers a call for free help and guidance on this matter.

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