Deferred Payments. A guide to. Paying for residential care if you own your home

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1 Deferred Payments A guide to Paying for residential care if you own your home

2 What is the deferred payment scheme? If you are a home owner moving to residential care this scheme is designed to assist you with the payment of your care home fees. The value of your property is normally included when we calculate how much you will need to pay towards your care. The deferred payment scheme means that Lincolnshire County Council will contribute to agreed care costs on your behalf, which will be re-paid later, when your property is sold. This arrangement is similar to an interest-free loan. n It is worth noting that there are some limited circumstances where you or your family may be required to pay interest. This leaflet explains what they are. Who is the scheme for? It is for home owners moving permanently into residential care funded by the council who either: n do not wish to sell their home or n are unable to sell their home quickly enough to pay for their care. How do I become eligible for the scheme? To join the scheme: n You must have been assessed by adult services as needing permanent residential or nursing care. n You must be eligible for funding from the council. n You do not have other assets or savings of 22,500 or more, apart from your property (this figure was correct at April 2008, but changes annually). 1

3 n You agree to Lincolnshire County Council placing a legal charge on your property and to sign any associated deferred payment agreement documentation. n You must have the mental capacity to understand and sign the documentation or have given someone else authority to do this for you. You might ask a relative, friend or solicitor to act on your behalf and sign the necessary paperwork for you. To do this they must be formally appointed by you as having one of the following; Power of Attorney, Enduring Power of Attorney, Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney; or appointed for you as a Court Appointed Deputy. What if I am not eligible for the scheme? n If you ask us for a care assessment you may still be eligible for an allowance that ignores the value of your property when we calculate how much you need to pay towards your care during your first 12 weeks. Tell me more about the first 12 weeks n You do not need to apply to join the deferred payment scheme to benefit from the 12 week allowance. Neither do you need to agree to a legal charge being placed on your property to benefit from this. n If you become eligible, or apply for a care assessment, after your care started then you will only benefit from the date that happened until the end of your first 12 weeks in care. n If you do not apply for a care assessment in your first 12 weeks of care then you will not benefit from this allowance. n If you sell your property within the first 12 weeks of care then this allowance stops on the date of the house sale. 2

4 How does the deferred payment scheme work? n If you are eligible for the deferred payment scheme then the value of your home will normally be ignored for the first 12 weeks of a permanent stay. n After the end of this period, if you do not wish to sell your home or you are trying to sell it but have not been able to, you can apply for deferred payments. n You will still have to make an assessed weekly contribution towards the cost of your care based on your income and any other assets you have. n The council will pay the balance of care costs up to an agreed rate. These are what are known as the deferred payments. n Any deferred payments will need to be paid back when your home is sold or when you leave residential care. n You can tell us you want to join the scheme when you are first assessed and we will ask you to fill in some forms then, so that at the end of 12 weeks if the property has not been sold we will start to progress your application straight away. n Alternatively you can apply to join the scheme as the end of the 12 weeks approaches or at any time in the future whilst the property remains unsold. We will need you to fill in some more forms at that time. n Please note that if you do not apply to join when you are first assessed it will be your responsibility to contact us again when you want to join, whether this is as the end of the 12 weeks approaches or later. n It is important to note that applications to join the scheme cannot be backdated, you can only be considered for the scheme from the date you apply not when care started if this was an earlier date. n If you do not join the scheme straight away but decide later that you would like to then please let us know immediately, this will benefit both you and us by making sure that as far as possible there is no gap in funding your care. 3

5 When must the money be re-paid? The money must be re-paid either: n when the property has been sold or n when you terminate the agreement or n if you die Interest will be charged if the debt is not repaid within 56 days of one of these events. How do I apply to join the deferred payment scheme? If you are planning to live in a residential home permanently following a care assessment and are thinking about deferred payments you should discuss it with the person from adult social care who is helping you with your case. If your application is successful, a contract letter will then be sent to you which will tell you the assessed payments to be made under the scheme and the terms of the agreement. Tell me more information about what happens with my property financially n A legal charge will be secured against your property giving the council the right to reclaim the loan when it is sold n When a legal charge is placed on your property you will not be able complete the sale of your property or transfer ownership until the amount loaned has been repaid. n If you co-own your property, and wish to join the scheme, then all coowners will have to agree to this, signing the legal charge request and the scheme agreement. 4

6 What do I need to be aware of about maintaining my property or if I want to rent it out? n You will need to maintain the empty property paying for insurance on the building and contents, pay heating bills to save the property from damp and frost etc. n If you rent the property the income will have to be used to contribute towards your care home costs but will reduce the amount of the loan. Are there any other financial aspects I need to know? n By not selling your property, you will probably not qualify for as much pension credit (for those aged 60 and older) and income support (aged 59 and under), which will increase the amount of the loan. n If you agree that your property can be sold and you make a commitment to repay the local authority (by way of a legal charge), within 56 days of your death/sale of property, and you are not in receipt of income support or pension credit, you will continue to receive attendance allowance and/or disability living allowance as long as you satisfy the conditions of the entitlement. n You will be asked to cover the costs of land registry searches, property registration and similar legal expenses. The legal expenses should be paid up front and cannot be added to the loan. n A loan with no interest charges will be provided based on your assessed financial contribution. However, some interest charges may apply at a later date as detailed below: n To avoid interest charges the loan must be repaid within 56 days of the agreement ending. The agreement usually ends upon the date of your death, the sale of the property or you terminating the agreement. 5

7 n If the loan remains unpaid at 57 days after the agreement ends then interest will begin to accrue and be payable from that day. The interest rate is linked to the HSBC bank base rate - we will confirm the details on request. n We will need you to supply us with an up to date valuation of your property at the start of the agreement and we will ask for regular updates whilst the property remains unsold. We will work with you to avoid any unnecessary costs being passed onto you but in certain circumstances we may need you to obtain a professional valuation. What should I do if I decide I do not want to join the scheme? You do not have to join the scheme. Personal circumstances can be different and after thinking about it and taking any advice you might not want to go forward with it. n What you do need to know is that by not going ahead you would be assessed as a self-funder. This means that you would have to pay for all of your own care costs from any other resources such as bank accounts or possibly by selling any other assets or property. n We would not advise you to carry on paying for your own care when it leaves you with less than about 3,000 in your bank account. If you reach that point you need to contact us again and consider joining the scheme then. n If you do not join the scheme we will still ignore the value of the property when assessing how much you need to pay for your care in the first 12 weeks of your stay. Additional advice and help As this is an important decision for you to take, you are advised to talk it through with relatives or friends and seek independent financial and legal advice. 6

8 Anything else I need to know? This leaflet cannot cover all aspects of deferred payments as every case tends to be different. In particular you may wish to ask us for more details if you: n Own more than one property n Have a mortgage or loan secured on your property n Have used your property in an equity release scheme How can I get more information? For more information you should talk to the member of staff who is dealing with your case or phone us on

9 Notes Please use this page for notes. 8

10 Notes Please use this page for notes. 9

11 Notes Please use this page for notes. 10

12 Alternative formats If you would like a copy of this leaflet in large print, Braille, audio or Makaton or in a different language, please contact: Communications Team County Offices Newland Lincoln LN1 1YL For more information on this leaflet please call or Remember that this leaflet is a general guide. We have made every effort to ensure that the information in this leaflet is correct at the time of going to print. However, changes in the law may make the leaflet become less accurate. Reference number: ASC0011 Revision date: June 2008

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