Help towards your care costs
These are the main benefits available for those funding care. All the benefits below are shown weekly and are the rates that apply from April 2020.
The information on this page applies to England only.
ATTENDANCE ALLOWANCE (AA)
This benefit is to help with personal care because you need help to meet the activities of daily living during the day or night.
Attendance Allowance is paid at two different rates and how much you get depends on the level of care that you need. Usually the higher rate is paid if you need some care or supervision at night.
Other benefits you get can increase if you get Attendance Allowance.
Higher Rate £89.15 a week
Lower Rate £59.70 a week
PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE PAYMENT (PIP)
If you are aged 16 to 64 this benefit is designed to help with some of the extra costs caused by long term ill-health or disability.
The amount you get depends on how your condition affects you, not the condition itself.
You’ll be assessed by a health professional to work out the level of help you can get. Your rate will be regularly reviewed to make sure you’re getting the right support.
Personal Independence Payment has essentially replaced the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) although existing DLA claimants will continue to receive DLA.
Daily Living Component (weekly)
Enhanced Rate £89.15
Standard Rate £59.70
Mobility Component (weekly)
Enhanced Rate £62.25
Standard Rate £23.60
NHS FUNDED NURSING CONTRIBUTION
You may qualify for NHS Funded Nursing Care if you are a resident in a nursing home (as opposed to a care home) and your condition qualifies. The NHS will make a flat-rate contribution, paid directly to the care home, towards the cost of providing on-site nursing.
When choosing a nursing home it is important to establish how they treat this payment. Some homes quote their fees net of the payment (for example, you will pay £1,000 a week and the home retain the NHS payment, making the total cost of care £1,183.31). Other's may quote a fee before the NHS payment is accounted for. For example, you will pay £1,000 a week less the NHS payment. Here the net cost of the care would be £816.08. The home may simply charge you £816.08 a week or they may change the full £1,000 and refund the NHS payment once received.
From April 2020 the standard rate is £183.31 a week.
LOCAL AUTHORITY FUNDING
If your assets were to fall below the local authority upper funding limit (currently £23,250) and you had been assessed as needing residential or nursing care, your local authority would top up your income to the amount that they would usually pay for care. They will leave £24.90 a week for spending money.
Many local authorities are severely failing their residents by failing to publish their care funding rates. Without this information it is difficult for people to understand the difference between the private and local authority rate for a care home. It is also impossible to family members to calculate whether a third party top up payment may be affordable and sustainable.
Most care homes charge significantly more than their local authority will pay for care. If this is the case there may be the following options available.
• The Care Home may agree to accept the local authority contribution as payment in full.
• The Care Home may agree to accept the local authority contribution as payment in full providing that you move to a lower cost room.
• A third party, such as a member of the family, can agree to pay the difference. (You are not allowed to meet this top up from your own assets).
• You could move to a care home that will accept local authority funding.
In this situation the local authority will expect you to make a contribution towards the cost of care until your assets fall below the lower funding limit (currently £14,250). For every £250 over £14,250 a payment of £1 a week is required.
12-WEEK PROPERTY DISREGARD
If your assets, excluding your property are less than £23,250 and your local authority agrees the need for residential care they will provide funding for twelve weeks on the basis explained above under 'Local Authority Funding'.
This is a state benefit and does not need to be repaid when the property is sold.
DEFERRED PAYMENTS AGREEMENT
The Deferred Payments Agreement is available to those that are assessed by their local authority as needing care and have less than £23,250 in assets, excluding their property.
The local authority can offer the option of funding care through a loan against your property, which means that you do not have to sell your property to fund your care. However, in most cases your property will need to be sold in the future to repay the loan to the local authority.
You can still run out of money on the DPA with all of the implications described above.
The DPA is essentially a Lifetime Mortgage offered by your local authority. The local authority will take a charge against your property and will then pay your fees directly to your care provider. They will ask you to contribute your income, benefits and any rental income, leaving you with the personal expenses allowance and an allowance for continuing to run the property.
The Local Authority will look at your case based on affordability. If your care fees are higher than the local authorities funding rate, and the authority believes that the equity in your property will sustain that level of fee, they will usually allow you to borrow an amount each week sufficient to meet the full private care fees. However, be aware that some local authorities will only pay their maximum care funding rates under the scheme.
One attraction of the DPA is the ability to retain the property and rent it out, with the rental income being used to reduce the amount borrowed.