Care Home Fees – can these be avoided?
31 August 2019 by Jane Golding
Care from the NHS is free, but if you need social care because you are physically or mentally frail then you will have to pay for it yourself. A study in 2018 shows that a place in a Residential Care Home in the UK could cost on average more than £35,000 a year. A Nursing home could cost more than £55,000 a year if nursing is required.
Do I have to sell my house to pay for Care?
Currently, if your capital and income is above £23,250.00 you are likely to have to pay for your care fees. If your capital and income is under £23,250 then you might get some help from the Local Council, but you may still need to contribute towards the fees.
How do my home and savings affect what I pay for Social Care?
If your local Council assesses you as needing social care, such as extra help at home or moving into a care home, then they will conduct a financial assessment. This is known as a “means test” to calculate how much you should pay towards the fees.
Your income and savings will be taken into account in the “means test”. If you need to move into Residential Care, your property could be taken into account.
Some people consider giving away their home or money, perhaps to Relatives, Friends, or Charities so that they will not be taken into account in the “means test”. The Council could decide that this is a deliberate deprivation of assets.
What counts as deprivation of assets?
Deprivation of assets applies when you intentionally reduce your assets, such as money, property, or income so that they will not be included when the Council calculates how much you may need to pay towards the care you receive.
The Council when deciding whether getting rid of your property and/or money has been deliberate deprivation of assets they will consider two things:-
- You must have known at the time you got rid of your property and/or money that you needed or may need care and support.
- Avoiding the payment for care must have been a significant reason for giving away your home or reducing your savings.
The Council could also consider different methods of reducing your money or property:
- Giving away a lump sum of money.
- Transferring the title of your property to someone else.
- Suddenly spending lots of money in a way which is unusual for your normal spending.
- Gambling the money away.
If the Council thinks that you have deliberately reduced your assets to avoid care fees, they may still include the value of the Assets you no longer have when they conduct the “means test”.
If you would like to discuss all options on what steps can be taken on protecting your home, then please call Fisher Jones Greenwood on 01206 700113 or email [email protected] to arrange a mutually convenient appointment.