If you are not eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding and have over the Local Authority Charging upper funding level of £23,250 (England 2022/23) then you may be relying on the Local Authority and making a contribution, paying a top up or paying for your own care using one or any combination of these things:
- Care Fee Plan/Annuity
- Third Parties
Before choosing and self-funding your care or care for a loved one and possibly reducing your wealth for care and support that may not be appropriate we can make sure that you a) are not responsible for the cost of care b) have considered other care and funding options and c) have taken into account future needs, dependents, legal or legacy arrangements.
Moving, Renting, Selling, Downsizing… While it is your main and only home or the home of those closest to you, your property will often not be taken into account during a means test and if the NHS is responsible for your care costs it will not be considered an asset either.
Before making potentially life changing decisions with what may be your main or only asset advice is really important to make sure you aren’t paying more than you can afford or should be for the support you receive to avoid a move later on.
If you are responsible for your own care costs or are considering adaptations to your home then you may be considering using the equity in your home to pay for it. While you are living at home and over a certain age there may be two main types of product available to you
- Home Reversion – you sell part or all of your home in return for a lump sum or regular payments.
- Lifetime Mortgage – a mortgage is secured on your property but you retain ownership.
A Care Funding and Benefit check will help you to understand the consequences of releasing money from your home and consider the care options and services that are right for you, helping you to plan for and manage any ongoing care fees.
Selling your home
Often when people move into a care home they believe that they will have to sell their home or be ‘forced’ to sell. Selling your home may seem very final and it is your choice. Take your time and seek advice before making any hasty, ill informed decisions as there may be options for example a Deferred Payment Agreement with the Local Authority or renting your property.
If the house feels too big or too much to manage it may be time to down size or think about a move. It may also be worth considering other options including adaptations, management services, property redesign or moving in with family, a home share scheme/shared lives agreement or sheltered accomodation. If you would like some help to understand how your property or money released from a sale or move will be assessed duirng a financial assessment or means test please get in touch or book an appointment for a Care Funding and Benefit Check.
Renting may be your preferred option but often there are questions about how the rental income will be taken into account for a means test or how a shortfall between your income and cost of care could be met or what are the tax implications.
Care Fee Annuity
An immediate needs annuity, care fee annuity or care fee plan is an insurance product designed to cover the shortfall between your income and the cost of your care for the rest of your life. Paid to a care provider it can have tax benefits and can be arranged to begin with immediate effect or be deferred for an agreed period.
You may wish to contribute towards a loved one’s care, a ‘top up’ of a Local Authority agreed amount or ‘up front’ payments recovered later. A shortfall between an amount agreed by a Local Authority or NHS may not cover your preferred care cost but there are rules that a Local Authority and the NHS must follow and choice of accommodation is a legal requirement. Seek further advice before offering or agreeing to make a ‘top up’ of either your own care or care for a loved one
Some financial advice can only be given by advisers who are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), this is called regulated financial advice.
Helping people to understand the financial implications of having care and support needs will include unregulated financial advice such as help with completing benefit applications but it may also require regulated financial advice.
We can help you to understand the care and benefits systems, the ways to pay for care and claim your benefit entitlement but if you need regulated financial advice we can put you in touch with specialsit care fee financial planners who are regulated by the FCA, accredited by the Society of Later Life Advisers and offer an initial call free of charge.
If you would like to speak to someone about paying for care or financial care planning please call us 01280 818 784 or make an appointment
If you are not eligible for free NHS Continuing Healthcare then Social Care is usually means tested (some services and assessments are free of charge). The upper funding level for a Social Care means test in England is currently £23’250. If you have assets (not necessarily your home) above £23’250 you will be considered a self-funder. If you would like some help yo understand whether or not you have to pay or what help is available please get in touch
The value of your home is often disregarded during a means test, for both Social Care and Benefits. It is often assumed that if you have a property and move into a care home that you will have to sell it and pay for your own care and this is not necessarily the case. Please get in touch before using the proceeds from a sold property or selling a house to pay for care.