Avoiding Paying for Care
Cost of Care – Residential care costs, on average, more than £35,000 a year. A nursing home can be £45,000 a year plus and more in some areas of England for example the South East, when it can be an additional £10,000 a year more. ’Self-Funders’ can pay up to 44% more for a place in the same home as someone who is supported by a Local Authority or funded by NHS Continuing Healthcare.
Although the cost of care can be significant, gifting a property or other assets with a deliberate intention to avoid paying for care is not the answer as you may be treated as still having the capital asset or income by a Local Authority during a financial assessment.
Deprivation of Assets – Avoiding paying for care may not be the reason for reducing your assets or making a gift and a local authority should consider both the timing and intent before deciding whether the purpose of the deprivation is avoiding paying for care
Making Decisions- The person disposing of an asset, making a gift or creating a Trust must be considered to have ‘Mental Capacity’ and if capacity is lacking for the decision an Attorney/Deputy must act in the best interest of the person.
Is anything FREE? Yes! There are services that a Local Authority must provide FREE of charge and some care and support can be paid for by either the NHS and/or the Local Authority. There are also non-means tested Welfare Benefits for someone living with an illness or disability with care and supervision needs .
What is a ‘Self -Funder’? Should you be paying for your care? You will be considered able to pay for the cost of care if you have assets (that are not disregarded) of over £23’250 (England 2021/22). Often a property is not included during the Social Care financial assessment and there are some income and capital disregards that people also assume will be included.
Should you be paying for your care? Before making arrangements to deprive yourself of an asset, make sure you should be paying for your care at all!
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I give my house or money away?
- What can I spend my money on?
- Can I put my house in Trust to avoid paying for care?
- Do I have to sell my house to pay for care?
- What is ‘Deliberate Deprivation’ or Deprivation of Assets?
- What if I don’t agree with a NHS/Local Authority decision?
The answer to all of these questions is get specialist advice. Adverts claiming to help you to avoid paying for care may seem attractive but if you are considering reducing your assets to access Social Care then think about WHEN and WHY you are doing it.
Financial planning is key and advice important for safeguarding assets without the worry of deprivation of assets. Contact us if you would like some advice
Each Local Authority must have a complaints procedure and if unable to get a satisfactory resolve the Local Government Ombudsman may investigate.
The Local Government Ombudsman is the final stage for complaints about councils, all adult social care providers (including care homes and home care agencies) and some other organisations providing local public services. A free service, they investigate complaints in a fair and independent way and make recommendations for a resolution.