Financial guidance for entering a care home
Care home costs
The cost of staying in a care home varies but everyone is required to pay towards their stay whether on an emergency or permanent basis. The exact amount you will pay depends on your income, savings and in the case of permanent residents, the value of your property if you have any. Since 1 July 2002, those over 65 can apply for free personal and/or nursing care. Since 01 April 2019, those under 65 can also apply for free personal and/or nursing care.
Your lawyer, financial adviser or the Citizens Advice Bureau will be able to advise you on financial matters. Perth & Kinross Council also has a dedicated Assessment & Charging Team who can assist you. They can be contacted on 01738 476888.
When it has been identified that you need to receive care in a care home setting we will contact you or your representative to complete a financial assessment. A Financial Assessment Officer will arrange to speak to you to gather information regarding your finances.
You will be asked to show paperwork relating to your:-
- Income - from benefits, pensions, trust funds etc,
- Savings - bank/building society statements,
- Any other capital, including property and investments.
We will take copies of these for our records. Wherever possible, at the time of the assessment you will be given an indication of how much you will be expected to pay. The actual amount will be confirmed to you in writing.
If you have savings of less than £17,500 then you will pay most of your state pension, all of any other pension and all your other benefits except mobility allowance, towards the cost.
If you have a private or work pension and have a spouse that continues to live at home, you may only be asked to pay 50% of the pension towards the cost.
Everyone retains a weekly personal allowance to spend as they choose on items of a personal nature, including clothes. The current weekly personal allowance is £27.75.
If you have savings or capital over £17,500 but less than £28,000 we will ask you to pay, in addition to your pensions and state benefits, £1 per week for every £250, or part thereof, above £17,500.
If you have capital over £28,000 you will be classed as a self-funding resident. Capital includes any savings, investments and property that you own.
The contract for your care will be between you and the care home that you choose. Perth & Kinross Council will pay a Free Personal and/or Nursing Care payment to the home if you have been assessed by us as requiring this care. From 1 April 2019, the Free Personal Care payment is £177.00 per week and the Free Personal & Nursing Care payment is £257.00 per week.
You are entitled to ask for a financial assessment at any time but when your capital is nearing or below £28,000 you should contact us and we will carry out another financial assessment.
Will I have to sell my property?
If you are thinking about entering a care home and own a property it is probable that you will be classed as a self-funding resident as the value of the property is likely to be in excess of £28,000. For the first 12 weeks of entering a care home we will not include the value of the property in calculating what you will pay towards your care. This means that if your capital, excluding the value of the property, is below £28,000 you will pay less for this period. This is to allow you time to decide what you want to do. You will never be forced to sell your home to pay for your care.
Paying care home bills
Before moving, you will be asked to agree how you will pay your share to the care home. Each care home has its own procedure for this and will discuss it with you fully. Once you have agreed, this will be written into a contract, which you will be required to sign.
You may wish to continue to handle your own money. If not, you can authorise someone to be your agent to deal with your finances. You can find more information on Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland) website.
Changes in financial circumstances
If your capital or income goes up you may have to pay a greater share of the costs of your care. If your capital or income reduces you will pay less. In either of these circumstances you must tell us. We will reassess what you may pay each year and notify you in writing of any changes.
The above information is for general guidance only and each case will be reviewed on an individual basis taking your circumstances into account. If you want to discuss anything please call us on 01738 476888 or write to the Assessment & Charging Team, Corporate & Democratic Services, Pullar House, 35 Kinnoull Street, Perth, PH1 5GD or email HCCAssessment&Charging@pkc.gov.uk