MOVING INTO A CARE HOME Frequently asked questions

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1 MOVING INTO A CARE HOME Frequently asked questions What types of income and savings are counted as part of a financial assessment? Employment Support Allowance / Incapacity Benefit Pension Credit Former employment Pensions / Occupational Pensions War Widow Pension Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit State Pension Annuity income Income support Savings - most forms of savings or assets are counted, including ISAs and PEPs, stocks and shares, Unit Trusts, as well as bank and building society accounts. Some less common types of capital, such as certain types of bonds, compensation payments or trust funds, can be ignored. Can I claim benefits if I move into a care home? If you go into a care home, you may be eligible for one or more of the following benefits: Pension Credit Income support Income support premium payments Attendance Allowance (only for four weeks, but ongoing if you fund your own accommodation) Disability Living Allowance (care component for four weeks only, but ongoing if you fund your own accommodation) The Department of Work and Pensions takes into account capital over 10,000 when calculating benefit entitlement for people temporarily and permanently living in nursing or residential homes. (For temporary stays limits of 6,000 and 16,000 will be used for calculating income support if you are under 60) Can I keep any money for myself? When you live in a care home, you are allowed to keep a week from your weekly income this is called your personal allowance. If you are in receipt of savings credit, you may also keep up to 5.75 of any allowance you have been awarded the remainder will be taken into account towards the cost of your care. This amount is set by the Government and changes in April each year. If you are receiving a War Widows Pension or War Disability Allowance, you may be entitled to keep some additional weekly personal allowance. When your financial assessment has been completed, we will let you know how much you are able to keep. July 2015 OFFICIAL

2 Can I give my money away? PLYMOUTH CITY COUNCIL We have to be sure that you have not given money away in order to avoid paying your charges this can be regarded as an act of deprivation of resource. The transfer of property, such as your own home to a friend or relative, could also be treated as deprivation. If we decide that deprivation has taken place, we have the legal power to recover the money that you would have paid if your charges had been worked out including that asset. We can recover this money either through your weekly charge or from the person you gave the asset to. Are ongoing expenses accounted for? When you go to live in a home on a temporary basis we may be able to allow some short stay expenses, against your charges. This is on top of your personal allowance of and is for various expenses that you may have (see examples below) and which are not already being met by income support/pension credit or by a husband or wife remaining in the community. The following expenses will be considered when calculating the contribution towards the cost of your temporary/short term care: Rent commitments Mortgage payments Council tax Water rates If you become a permanent resident this type of allowance will stop. If you are in temporary residential care and receiving Attendance Allowance or Disability Living Allowance (Care), then this is disregarded but you would be expected to cover your own household expenses in the short term. It is your responsibility to inform the Disability Living Allowance/Attendance Allowance unit that you have been in hospital or residential care for 28 days or more as the benefit will stop after this period. In this case, we would reassess your contribution to reflect that this benefit has stopped. Do I have to sell my house? You do not have to sell your home unless you choose to do so. We do not have the legal power or the desire to make you sell your home or evict someone living there. If you go to a permanent care home, the value of your house or any property or land you own, will be taken into account in working out your weekly charges. In the following circumstances, your house will not be taken into account when working out your weekly charge: The house is the place where you normally live and you have only gone into a home on a temporary basis Your home will be disregarded from any financial assessment for the first 12 weeks of a stay in a permanent care home Your partner continues to live in the property A relative living in the property is either over 60 or incapacitated, or both, or there are children under the ages of 16 for whom you are financially responsible. MOVING INTO A CARE HOME Page 2 of 5

3 PLYMOUTH CITY COUNCIL We have the discretion to disregard the value of your property in other circumstances, for example, if a long term carer who has given up their own home and has been financially disadvantaged by this continues to live in your house. If your circumstances change, you are required to inform us as the value of your property could be taken into account when working out your charges. All the above applies only to people who we have agreed to financial support, following an assessment of your needs. This allows you 12 weeks when entering into a care home on a permanent basis to decide how best to fund your move. If you sell your property within 12 weeks, the value of the proceeds from your property will be taken into account from the date of the sale. What if I can t sell my house? After 12 weeks, if you have not sold your property, you can enter into a deferred payment agreement. You will continue to pay for your care based on the actual income you are receiving and the rest of your charges will accrue a debt against the value of your property, until such time as your property is sold. You will be entitled to claim Attendance Allowance increasing your weekly income by up to 82.30; this would be incorporated into your weekly contribution once this is in payment. We will place a legal charge on your house with the Land Registry, which means the charge has to be redeemed when the house is sold. This procedure safeguards the money owed to us. Deferred payment scheme If you do not want to sell your house or you are unable to sell it, we may allow the charge for your residential care, which has been worked out based on the value of your property, to build up until such time as the property is sold. There is a Government scheme called the deferred payment scheme. With this scheme you or your estate, would only pay back the deferred contributions when you sell your house or when you leave residential care. There is a set up administration charge of 500, and interest is charged on the deferred payment at a set rate. The current interest rate is 2.65% and this is amended every six months. If you apply and are accepted onto this scheme, an agreement will be put in writing and signed by yourself and us, and you will be asked to keep a copy. The rules for taking advantage of the deferred payment scheme are as follows: You do not have savings over 23,250 or other income to meet the cost of your care other than your property You do not wish to sell your home or if you do it may take sometime and the funds will not be available quickly enough to pay for your care You own your own home There is no outstanding mortgage, or the outstanding mortgage will leave enough money to meet the criteria to fund the cost of your care You will still be expected to pay your income to us, but the difference between your income and the full cost of care will accumulate as a debt against your property. When the house is eventually sold, a bill will be sent to you or your representatives for the total amount of arrears, which are due at the time. If you are still resident, and after payment of the arrears, you still have 23,250 left in savings, you will be expected to pay the full cost of your care and arrange a private contract with the care home. MOVING INTO A CARE HOME Page 3 of 5

4 PLYMOUTH CITY COUNCIL There are some things you may want to think about before deciding to use the scheme. They are: A legal charge will be secured against your property giving us the right to reclaim the loan against the sale You will be responsible for the cost of the set up of this legal charge; which is approximately This can be paid immediately or added to the deferred payment agreement You will need to maintain the empty property - pay for insurance on the building and contents, pay the heating bills to save the property from damp. You may defer up to per week from your income to do this If you rent out the property, the income will have to be used to contribute towards the cost of your care but will reduce the amount of the loan By not selling your property you will not qualify for as much income support or pension credit You will be charged interest at an annual rate of 2.65% (July 2015) on the deferred payment. Will my partner be affected financially if I go into a home without them? Your charges are worked out on the basis of your own income and savings and 50 per cent of joint income and capital held in joint names. Generally, if you and your husband or wife are both receiving income support or pension credit, the spouse remaining at home will not be required to make any contribution towards the charges. Please note: for permanent admissions, the Pension Service will treat couples as individuals if one person goes into care and the other stays at home. Each person will be paid pension credits in their own right. If you and your partner go to live in the same or different homes, you will be charged separately on the basis of each of your own resources. You may, if you wish, allow 50 per cent of any occupational pension payable to you to be made available to your partner remaining at home. However, by receiving this money, your partner may reduce their entitlement to benefits. Our financial assessment officers will look at each case carefully and advise you if your partner would be better without your pension, but the choice is yours. Who can I speak to if I think my charge is wrong? Once you have been told the outcome of your financial assessment, you will be able to talk to our finance staff about the details of your charge. The name and number of the financial assessment officer who calculated your charge will be shown on the letter you will receive, and they will be happy to talk about any queries. A copy of their calculations will be sent to you as soon as possible after they have received the financial assessment form. If you feel that you are unable to pay the assessed charge, you have the right to request a review. In these situations, your financial details will be sent to a senior financial services officer, who will look into your case. If you are unhappy with any aspect of the financial assessment process, you can make a formal complaint through our adult social care complaints procedure. MOVING INTO A CARE HOME Page 4 of 5

5 You can contact our Customer Relations Team by: Writing: Customer Relations Team Department of Community Services Plymouth City Council Plymouth PL1 2AA PLYMOUTH CITY COUNCIL Telephone: Fax: Will I have to pay if I go into hospital or on holiday? Yes, you are required to pay for all periods whilst you are a resident of a home, including the day of admission but not the day of discharge. If you go on holiday or into hospital, you will still be charged your normal weekly rate while you are away. This is because your bed at the home is kept reserved for you during your absence and because your benefits won t change. If you are in hospital for a year or more, your entitlement to benefits will be reduced and the charge for the cost of your care home may also be reduced. What if I can t deal with my own finances? If you can t manage your own finances, but you are mentally capable, you may appoint a friend, relative or professional representative as your Power of Attorney. If a service user is no longer mentally capable and has not appointed a Lasting Power of Attorney, it will be necessary for an interested party to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed deputy for the client. The deputy will be given authority to deal with the client s finances on their behalf, for example, to claim benefits, sell a property or pay bills. Deputies and Lasting Power of Attorney are obliged to administer affairs for the client s benefit. These are complex matters and it is not possible to provide all the details in this leaflet. For further information about becoming a Power of Attorney, Lasting Power of Attorney or Deputyship, please contact an independent solicitor. Registered nursing care contributions Everyone in a nursing home is entitled to an assessment. This will determine if you are eligible for a financial contribution to pay for the nursing element of your care. An NHS registered nurse will visit to assess you. If eligible, the contribution from the NHS will be paid to the home. MOVING INTO A CARE HOME Page 5 of 5

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