Things to consider if a client needs to move into residential / nursing care
A useful checklist:
1 Contact the local Social Services office.
They will be able to provide a list of care homes (with or without nursing) in the client’s area. For example, Kent has a free directory containing all the residential and nursing homes in Kent.
2 Charging for residential care
Social Services will carry out an assessment of care needs. Once it has established that the client requires residential services then Social Services will carry out a financial assessment.
Note: Social Services will then tell you how much they are willing to pay. The client can choose to go into a more expensive care home if there is someone else who is willing to pay the extra costs. This payment is called a “top-up”. The person paying the extra costs will have a separate top up contract with Social Services. (Sometimes, this will be a charity or benevolent society or trustees of a discretionary trust).
Social Services will require the 3rd party to commit to making these payments whilst the client is resident at the home.
If the client’s weekly income is less than the weekly cost of a home, then Social Services will help financially, but only if the client’s savings and assets are less than the upper capital limit, currently £23,000.
If the client is already in a care home and the client’s savings fall below the upper capital limit, Social Services may be able to help.
Note: If the client is in a more expensive home, then Social Services may not be able to support the full fees, in which case third party funding is needed or the client could move to a less expensive home, which Social Services are willing to pay. On some occasions, the home may accept the maximum Social Services amount.
The value of the home is not taken into account if:
(i) the client’s stay is a temporary one;
(ii) the client’s spouse, partner, relative over 60 or one who is incapacitated still living there; and
(iii) the value is always disregarded for the first 12 weeks of a permanent stay
Temporary financial assistance
• If the client has less than £3,000 in liquid assets to pay his/her fees, Social Services may make an interest free loan while the property is sold.
• Social Services will place a legal charge on the client’s property. Client will pay a contribution from his/her weekly income.
• If the client does not want to sell their home, under certain circumstances, the Social Services will agree to pay/top up the client’s care fees.
• A legal charge will be placed on the property.
Effect on benefits of entering a care home
If Social Services are helping the client with the fees of the care home, then the client will no longer be eligible to claim AA or the care part of DLA after four weeks.
If the client is self-funding, then their AA and DLA allowance is not affected upon entering a care home.
NHS funded nursing care
The NHS is responsible for paying for the care needed from a registered nurse for all residents who are assessed as requiring nursing home care.
This is currently £106.30 per week.
The home will automatically receive this payment and the home should not take payment for the client/Social Services for this aspect of their care.
NHS continuing care
If the client’s need is primarily a health need, the NHS should be responsible for providing for all the client’s needs, including accommodation.
Reviewed in 2015