Information on: Deferred Payment Scheme

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1 Information on: Deferred Payment Scheme From 1 April 2015

2 Introduction From April 2015 the way care and support is provided is changing for the better. The Care Act 2014 is a recent piece of legislation and is designed to put you in control, making it easier for you to make plans for your care and support now, and in the future. The Care Act 2014 will make charging for care and support fairer and more clearly understood by everyone. Part of the Act includes the option of a deferred paymen to pay the cost of care and support; this leaflet will explain how this scheme works. What is a deferred payment? A deferred payment is a way of deferring the costs of adult residential and nursing care, which have to be repaid at a later date. A deferred payment is designed to help you if you have been assessed as having to pay the full cost of your residential care, but cannot afford to pay the full weekly charge because most of your capital is tied up in your home. Effectively, the scheme offers you a loan from Leeds City Council using your home as security. It doesn t work in exactly the same way as a conventional loan (more information below on this) Leeds City Council doesn t give you a fixed sum of money when you join the scheme, but pays an agreed part of your weekly care and support bill for as long as is necessary. 2

3 You will be assessed to pay a contribution towards your care based on your income and savings. Leeds City Council will pay the remainder of the care cost. The part Leeds City Council pays is your deferred payment. The deferred payment builds up as a debt which is cleared when the money tied up in your home is released. For many people this will be done by selling their home, either immediately or later on. You can also pay the debt back from another source if you want to. However, you do not have to sell your home if you don t want to you may, for example, decide to keep your home for the rest of your life and repay out of your estate, or you may want to rent it out to generate income. If you do this, you will be expected to use the rental income to increase the amount you pay each week, thus reducing the weekly payments made by Leeds City Council, and minimising the eventual deferred payment debt. What is the current position? The council currently operates a deferred payment scheme in accordance with the Health and Social Care Act The Care Act 2014 creates a universal deferred payment scheme for all authorities who provide this option. This policy was implemented from 1 April The council s finance officers are available at every stage of the 3

4 deferred payment scheme to help you with this process. If you need any information or advice, please call and we will be happy to assist you. Your agreement with Leeds City Council Under the Care Act 2014, a local authority must have adequate security in place when entering into a deferred payment agreement. The regulations state that a *first legal mortgage charge must be accepted on a property as adequate security. If you decide to use the deferred payments scheme, you enter into a legal agreement with Leeds City Council by signing an agreement document. Leeds City Council then places what is called a legal charge on your property to safeguard the loan. You will be charged for this expense. The agreement covers both the responsibilities of Leeds City Council and your responsibilities, one of which is to make sure your home is insured and maintained. If you incur expenses in maintaining your home while you are in residential or nursing care, these will be allowed for in the amount that you are assessed as contributing each week from your capital and income. You can end the agreement at any time, for example if you sell your home, the loan will then become payable immediately. Otherwise the agreement ends on your death and the loan becomes payable within 90 days. 4

5 Leeds City Council cannot cancel the agreement without your consent. *For the majority of people, their main asset is the family home. When they seek to borrow a sum of money to, for example, pay for care and support under the Deferred Payment Scheme, Leeds City Council will secure that loan against the clients equity value in the property. With the agreement of a client or a client s legal representative, Leeds City Council will secure the loan with a legal charge against the property, this will be registered at HM Land Registry and when the loan is redeemed (e.g. when the property is sold and the current outstanding debt is paid) the council will remove the charge. Advantages of using the deferred payments scheme You should take independent financial and legal advice to help you decide which course of action will be financially better for you. If there is an existing agreement for a third party top up, where a family member of other person puts additional money towards your care and support, and you decide to take advantage of the deferred payments scheme; you can add the cost of the top up payments to your deferred payment scheme loan, if Leeds City Council agrees there is enough equity in your home and you meet the criteria set out on page eight and nine. The government s rules say top ups for people not using the deferred payments scheme currently have to be paid for by somebody else - for example, a member of their family - so a deferred payment is currently the only way of paying the top up yourself without depending on a third party. If you are a selffunder or have had no financial assessment you can apply for a Deferred Payment Agreement if you meet the criteria set out on page eight and nine. 5

6 What are the costs associated with a deferred payment scheme? The Care Act 2014 permits the council to charge administration charges that reflect the actual cost of providing the deferred payment. The deferred payment scheme is intended to be run on a cost neutral basis. As a guide these costs could be as follows: Fee description Fee cost Admin set up charge Admin annual charge Admin termination charge Legal charges Land registry charge Actual cost - between depending upon house valuation Land search Actual cost - between depending upon house valuation Independent property valuation Actual cost 6

7 Will there be interest charged on a deferred payment? The loan will have interest charged on it, in the same way a normal loan would be charged on money borrowed from a bank. The maximum interest rate that will be charged is fixed by the government. Currently, the maximum rate to be charged is based on the cost of government borrowing, and will be reviewed on 1 January and 1 July every year. You will receive a statements twice a year, on 30 June and 31 December advising you how your charge is being calculated and what the outstanding sum on your deferred payment account is. Interest will be applied to the debt outstanding on a daily basis. The current interest rate is 2.65% until 30 June 2015, and will be 2.25% between 1 July and 31 December. Each payment made on behalf of the client will increase the debt outstanding. You can choose to pay interest in arrears and on-going fees on a six monthly basis, in line with statements to be issued on 30 June and 31 December. If you choose this method of payment on the application form an invoice will be attached to each statement. If the amount of the invoice isn t settled in full within 28 days it will be added back to the debt outstanding. 7

8 You can change methods of payment part way through the agreement by writing to us. Are there any other options available to me? You may choose to rent out your property, which could give you enough income to cover the full cost of your care. There are advantages to this as you will not accrue a debt, be liable for interest and administrative charges and your property will be occupied. Your tenant will be paying utilities and council tax which will reduce your outgoings. There are also various equity release products which may be suitable for your personal circumstances. You may also choose to pay the full cost of your care from your available income and savings/ assets; or a family member may choose to pay some or all of this for you. You should take independent financial and legal advice to help you decide which course of action will be financially better for you. How do I apply for the deferred payment scheme? If you can answer yes to the following questions, you can apply for the deferred payment scheme: Do you have assets (including savings and nonhousing assets, but excluding the property) of less than 23,250? Have you been professionally assessed by a social worker as requiring residential care or nursing care in a registered care home? Do you own or have part legal ownership of a property, which could be taken into account as part of an assessment relating to a 8

9 contribution to the cost of your care? Is your property registered with the Land Registry (if the property is not, you must arrange for it to be registered at your own expense)? Are you able to confidently make your own decisions about your financial situation to agree to a deferred payment agreement or have a legally appointed agent willing to agree this? or equity release schemes, unless this is approved by the council. Please Note: Acceptance of any application under the scheme is subject to you meeting the criteria for entering the scheme, and the local authority being able to obtain security on your property. While in the agreement, you will also need to: have a responsible person willing and able to ensure necessary maintenance is carried out on the property to retain its value. (You will be liable for any such expenses) insure your property at your expense. There can be no other beneficial interests on the property, for example outstanding mortgages 9

10 Where can I get independent financial advice? There are lots of services both national and in Leeds that can give you independent financial advice. They can be found in the Leeds Directory at or you can visit Age UK or Age UK Leeds at How can I apply for the scheme? If you feel you meet all the criteria detailed on page eight and nine of this booklet an application is available on leeds.gov.uk/deferredpayments Alternatively, you can call:

11 Leeds City Council For general information about Adult Social Care, telephone customer services on April 2015

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