Whether your stay in a care home is temporary or permanent your local authority must carry out an assessment of your needs to establish that you require care in a care home before it can help you with the cost. Most people will be expected to pay at least something towards the cost of their accommodation and personal care in a care home from their income and capital. The amount that you will have to pay will be determined by a means test following the local authority’s needs assessment.
The means test will look at what capital and income you have. Capital can be in a variety of forms including savings, investments and property (such as your own home). The capital value of your property will be based on its current market value less any outstanding mortgage or loans.
If you have more than £23,250 in capital you will generally be expected to pay the full fee, however if you are looking for temporary, or respite care then the value of your own home will not count towards this figure.
If you are looking to move into care permanently however then the value of your home will generally be taken into account as capital although there are certain exceptions to this for example such as if your home is occupied by your partner (husband, wife, or civil partner) or dependant children.
If your property is taken into account in the means test you may be able to enter into a “deferred payment agreement” under which the local authority will agree to provide funding as a loan to be repaid when the property is sold at a later date. This could allow you to move into ‘Name of the Care Home’ and begin to receive the care that you need whilst you are waiting for your former home to be sold.