Paying for residential or nursing care when you own your own property
This fact sheet contains information for people who own their own property and want to know about financial help from Wiltshire Council to pay for residential or nursing care
- Circumstances where the value of your home can be disregarded by the Council
- Do you own a property and have savings of less than £23,250?
- If you choose a home that is more expensive than the Council would normally be prepared to pay
- What if you do not want any financial assistance from the Council after 12 weeks funding has ended?
- Financial advice
- Appendix A
Before reading on please look at Appendix A, which describes the circumstances where the value of your home can be disregarded by the Council. The following does not apply should you own more than one property. In this case you would not normally qualify for financial assistance from the Council.
You cannot obtain financial assistance from the council until your savings reduce to £23,250. You will need to make your own arrangements to pay all of your care costs in full. You can ask for a Community Care Assessment from the council to find out your care needs. You can also ask to receive information about the deferred payment agreement offered by the council. If you need nursing care the Health Authority should undertake an assessment of the nursing element of your care costs to see whether they can offer you financial assistance. If your capital excluding your property is below £23,250, and you do not wish to sell your property in your lifetime, you can then contact the Council about a deferred payment agreement.
We will ask you to complete a financial declaration to enable a financial assessment to be undertaken to determine what contribution towards care you are able to make from your weekly income and any savings you have in excess of £14,250. You may not be able to retain your entitlement to a means tested benefit as you have not placed your property for sale. You should advise the Department for Work and Pensions of your decision to enter into a deferred payment agreement and your decision not to sell your property.
During the 12 week period of funding (if applicable) if you have Attendance Allowance or a Personal Independence Payment (PIP), this benefit will be withdrawn after four weeks of the council funding commencing. At the end of the 12 week period Attendance Allowance or PIP can be re-instated. We would consider whether to offer financial assistance in the form of a loan called a “Deferred Payment”. At the end of any 12 week funding period a reassessment of your contributions would be undertaken to reflect any re-instatement of Attendance Allowance or PIP and to consider any income that may be obtained from the letting of the property, as any rent income could be added to the contribution you make towards your care costs and therefore reduce the loan. If you apply for and are eligible for a deferred payment, an agreement would need to be completed by you or your representative to allow the Council to place a legal charge against your property to secure the loan. It is recommended that you appoint a Solicitor in this case to deal with the legal arrangements (see deferred payments page for more information)
During any period of 12 weeks funding by the Council (if applicable) any shortfall between the fee a care home may charge and the financial assistance on offer by the Council, you would have to meet yourself, or find a third party to meet this cost. The Council cannot loan you the difference during the 12 week period. However, during the 12 weeks property disregard only, the shortfall can be met from your own savings. Please consider this an interim measure and only applicable for the 12 weeks. Once any 12 week funding has ended, the Council can assist you to meet up to the full cost less your assessed contribution and this can be included in any loan arrangement, if the Council considers this to be appropriate.
You do not have to continue with any funding from the Council once the 12 weeks has ended if you do not wish to do so. If your property is on the market you may retain entitlement to a means tested benefit and have Attendance Allowance or PIP re-instated. Any shortfall in fees would then have to be made up by yourself from any savings or you would have to have assistance from a third party. You can of course, seek financial assistance, in the form of a deferred payment agreement, from the Council at a later date should, for instance, your property not sell as quickly as expected and your savings can no longer meet the shortfall of any costs in your care above your weekly income
It is advisable to seek independent financial advice before making any decision regarding funding of your care. If your property is on the market you will no doubt be appointing solicitors, but if you decide not to sell it is recommended that solicitors are appointed to deal with matters relating to the placing of a legal charge should you require financial assistance.
There are certain situations, where the value of your home, may be ignored by both the Department for Work and Pensions and the Local Authority after you have moved permanently into a Care Home.
This disregard will apply if any of the following people continue to live in your former home:-
- your husband, wife or partner
- a relative over 60
- a relative who is “incapacitated” (sick or disabled)
- a relative who is under 16 and whom you are liable to maintain
In addition the Local Authority (but not the Department for Work and Pensions) has discretion to ignore the value of your home when a long-term carer remains living in it. If the value of your home is disregarded because someone else is living there, ie one of the above, and that person moves out or dies, then the value of the property would then normally be taken into account from the date of the change in circumstances.
For more information on Paying for residential or nursing care where you own your own property, please see our deferred payment page