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How Do You Pay For Care Homes And What Support Is Available?

It is always reassuring to know that support is available from the state. But what can often cause anxiety for people needing care or those trying to find the best care for their relatives,is working  but which are the best options for their particular situation. Here is a quick overview but please feel free to call the office and ask any questions that you have regarding your needs. We are always happy to help and give some advice.

Anybody requiring care should undergo a care needs and financial assessment by their local authority. Don’t worry this is carried out in a friendly and respectful manner. This will establish the level of state assistance they are entitled to, such as the Attendance Allowance of £55.10 to £82.30 per week and the NHS Funded Nursing Care (FNC) contribution of £112.00 per week.

The state will also contribute more towards care costs if the person requiring care has capital below the threshold of £23,250. (Please note: these amounts refer to 2015/16 tax year).

NHS Continuing Healthcare funding may also be available to cover the costs of care.

Continuing Healthcare Funding is a package of health and social care funding provided to meet the cost of an individual’s care in full because their primary need for care is a health need.  It is not means tested and it is irrelevant what assets the individual has. The physical location of the recipient, in a care home or at their own home, is irrelevant; health needs and not their location is the key factor. It is not dependent on a particular disease, diagnosis or condition, nor on who provides the care. If your overall assessment of care needs shows that you have a ‘primary health need’, you could be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare. The eligibility criteria is quite stringent, only a small proportion of people needing care, whether residential nursing or domiciliary, actually qualify for fully funded care so it is difficult to claim.

People who have capital (which includes the value of their property) in excess of the threshold of £23,250 are required to pay any additional residential or nursing home care costs themselves.

There are a number of options available to those that find themselves in this position:

  • They can draw down from personal savings to pay for their care
  • Investments can be used to try and achieve a higher income than traditional deposit savings
  • A Care Fees Annuity Plan (also known as an Immediate Needs Annuity and an Immediate Care Plan) could also be an option
  • Deferred Payment schemes maybe available from the Local Authority (the cost is ultimately incurred)
  • Equity Release – it may be possible to take equity from the property to apply for care fees (given the uncertain nature of costs and longevity of care requirements, great care should be taken if  considering equity release)

Please feel free to call our friendly team of expert Care Fees advisors if you would like to understand more about your options. 01582 794967

Attendance Allowance 

You may be able to claim Attendance Allowance if your ability to look after your own personal care is affected by physical or mental illness or disability.  Attendance Allowance has 2 weekly rates, and the rate you get depends on the help you need. You’ll get:

  • £55.10 if you need help in the day or at night
  • £82.30 if you need help both in the day and at night

These rates apply from April 2015 to April 2016.

Claiming Attendance Allowance is tax free and it is not means tested, it won’t reduce any other income you receive.  For more information about Attendance Allowance click here

NHS- Funded Nursing Care (FNC)

NHS-Funded Nursing Care, sometimes referred to as the Registered Nursing Care Contribution (RNCC) is care provided by a registered nurse and is paid for by the NHS, for people who live in a care home, and have been assessed as needing care from a registered nurse.

From 1 April 2015, the rates for eligible care home residents assessed to require the help of a registered nurse will be as follows:

  • standard rate will be increased to £112.00 per week
  • higher rate will be increased to £154.14 per week*

* Higher rate NHS Funded Nursing Care will only be applicable to those assessed as eligible prior to 1st October 2007.

For more information about Funded Nursing Care click here

How Much Will Paying For Care Cost?

Getting the very best care available is always the most important consideration, but cost restraints are usually the biggest factor in the final decision. That is why getting expert help is so important in making the right decision for your future or the futures of those you care about.

The cost of Care Homes can vary depending on geographical location and the level of care needs required. For example, it is more expensive to go to a Nursing Care Home than a Residential Care Home; and privately run homes generally cost more than care homes run by the Local Authority.

  • A single room in a private residential home in Britain can average between £26,000 and £36,000 per annum; depending on quality of living (higher levels of nursing requirement cost more) and  location.
  • In London and the Home Counties it is typical for a care home to charge between £45,000 and £62,000 per annum (which is £900 to £1,200 per week). Anybody with assets above the £23,250 has to pay for their Care, unless they qualify for NHS Continuing Care, which should be assessed at the outset.

To ensure you get best Care Home you possibly can for yourself or those you love call our expert team on 01582 794967 where we will be delighted to help.

How Do You Find Out if You Qualify For Local Authority Financial Assistance?

Approaching the time when someone might need care is often quite a difficult time for the people involved and their families. It can be an emotive subject because it involves relationships, people’s lives and money. The best way to lessen the impact and effect of these situations is to be well informed about the support that is available; both in terms of financial assistance from local authorities and by getting specialist advice.

Once it has been established that care is required, either at your home or at a care home, a care needs and financial assessment should be carried out by the local authority’s social services department.

If it is established that residential care is most appropriate, a means test calculation is carried out. If your total capital including your property is below the higher threshold of £23,250, you should be entitled to financial assistance towards care costs from your local authority. “Tariff Income” will apply where people are charged £1 per week for every £250 of assets on amounts between the £23,250 upper threshold down to the lower threshold of £14,250.  Once capital is below this lower threshold, you will be entitled to maximum support, although you will still be required to contribute from your own income (less £24.90 per week that you can keep for personal expenses).

If you are receiving domiciliary care, a means tests calculation will still be carried out to determine how much you can contribute to the cost of your care, but the value of your home is not taken into consideration.

Whilst your capital is between £14,250 and £23,250 you will pay a tariff of £1 per week for each £250 between these two figures.

If you are concerned about the level of local authority support that is available for your specific circumstances, why not call one of our expert care fees advisors for a confidential discussion about the help that is available: 01582 794967

What Is The Best Way To Pay For Care Fees?

Without fully understanding the different options and potential pitfalls in paying for care fees efficiently there is a real danger of capital being eroded and eventually the standard of care needing to be reduced.

In most cases, after being assessed for state benefits and NHS funding, people should look to utilise their investments and any capital available in their estate in the most efficient way.  The most usual options are to set up a high yield investment strategy (using the estate capital) to produce an income which will cover the shortfall in fees. We would, however, always strongly advise that the options for a guaranteed income are considered.

Options such as a Care Fees Annuity Plan, or Immediate Needs Annuity, will provide a guaranteed income for life. This means that the required level of care would be guaranteed; regardless of future care home fees inflation or increases in the cost of care requirements.

With this sort of secure plan in place the family can have total peace of mind that future care costs are covered, alleviating the worry of ever running out of money. For further information about Care Fees Annuity Plans click here

If you would like to know the best way for you to cover the costs of Care Fees then a consultation without obligation with one of our specialist advisors will help. Call us on: 01582 794967

What Is A Care Fees Plan and How Do You Maximise The Value Of Your Funds?

It is important to establish a plan to meet Care Fees indefinitely which could involve re-structuring investments for higher income, letting a property or selling a property to fund a Care Fees Annuity (also known as an Immediate Care Plan or Immediate Needs Annuity).

Approaching the time when care is required can be quite frightening for people; especially if they are unsure how long their savings will be able to keep them in a good state of care. Peace of mind and a greater sense of security can be reached by establishing a professional and realistic plan to meet lifetime care fees to show them the most appropriate options and opportunities.

We look at all the sources of investment, savings and financial support available and identify the best way to maximise the return in a way to meet the needs of those needing care. As specialists in Care Fees Planning, we can advise on the most appropriately managed investment portfolios that will generate high yields to increase the income achieved from existing savings. We will consider whether it is viable to let a property to generate the income required.

Where appropriate, we will look to include a Care Fees Annuity Plan (also known as an Immediate Needs Annuity or Immediate Care Plan) to guarantees a set level of income for life; options for escalation and capital guarantees can also be considered.

For further information about Care Fees Annuity Plans click here

Without appropriate, professional financial advice, there is a risk of capital erosion. And if funds are depleted below the threshold for assistance, it may be necessary to move the person receiving care to a cheaper home that accepts Local Authority funding.

Call one of our specialist Care Fees Planning advisors for a consultation without obligation; or if you would like to understand more about the options available to you: 01582 794967

What State Benefits Can I Claim To Pay Care Fees?

Finding the best care for yourself or a loved one is one of the most important decisions you will ever make and is one which will affect the lives of many of the people closest to you. So it is essential to fully understand all of the options available to you and to get expert, impartial and compassionate advice before committing to your decision.

One of the first thing you need to do is find out what state benefits you are entitled to by requesting a care needs and financial assessment from the local authority’s social services department.  All local authorities are obliged to do this; whether you are entitled to local authority funding or are planning to privately fund your care fees.  Knowing what State Benefits you are entitled to will help you calculate what further funding will be required from capital.

The most common assistance to help towards the cost of care is the Attendance Allowance, which is NOT means tested.  It is a non-taxable allowance paid at two levels; a lower amount of £55.10 per week and a higher amount of £82.30 per week (2015/2016 tax year).  The lower amount is usually payable for anyone needing care by either day or night and the higher amount applies to those needing care day and night.

If you also need nursing care, you may be entitled to the NHS Funded Nursing Care (FNC).

This is a weekly benefit of £112.00 payable to the home towards the cost of your nursing care.

In addition to these benefits, you may qualify for NHS Fully-Funded Continuing Healthcare, where the cost of care is paid by the NHS; and it is therefore imperative that you arrange for the local Primary Care Trust to carry out a NHS Continuing Care assessment when entering a care home.  This is payable where eligibility criteria has been met with regards to needing constant 24 hour attention with acute nursing needs, or where someone is assessed in the opinion of the NHS as being unstable and unpredictable with major requirements for assistance.

To find out exactly what level of state benefits and assistance is available to you or your loved ones simply call one of our expert care fees team on 01582 794967. Better decisions are made when all the information is available.

Who Can Claim Attendance Allowance?


You may be able to claim Attendance Allowance if your ability to look after your own personal care is affected by physical or mental illness or disability.  Attendance Allowance has 2 weekly rates, and the rate you get depends on the help you need. You’ll get:

  • £55.10 if you need help in the day or at night
  • £82.30 if you need help both in the day and at night

These rates apply from April 2015 to April 2016.

Claiming Attendance Allowance is tax free and it is not means tested, it won’t reduce any other income you receive.

You could be eligible for Attendance Allowance if you:

  • are 65 or over and could benefit from help with personal care, such as getting washed or dressed, or supervision to keep you safe during the day or night
  • have any type of disability or illness
  • have needed help for at least 6 months

Attendance Allowance is based on the help you need, not the help you actually get, you don’t actually have to receive help from a carer.  It is not means-tested so your income and savings are not taken into account.

What Is NHS Funded Nursing Care and How Do I Know If I Am Eligible?


Before October 1 2007, there were three different levels or bands of payment for Funded Nursing Care – low, medium and high.  If you moved into a care home before October 1 2007, and you were on the low or medium bands, you would have been transferred to the standard rate from that date.

However, if you moved into a care home before 1st October 2007 and you were on the high band, NHS-funded nursing care is paid at a higher rate, for 2015/16 this is £154.14 per week.

How will my needs be assessed?

You will be assessed for NHS continuing healthcare before a decision is made about whether you need NHS-funded nursing care.  Your clinical commissioning group (CCG) will arrange an assessment for you.

Outcome of the assessment

If you are eligible for NHS-funded nursing care, the NHS will arrange and fund nursing care provided by registered nurses employed by the care home.

Who is eligible for NHS-funded nursing care?

You should receive NHS-funded nursing care if:

  • you live in a care home registered to provide nursing care, and
  • you don’t qualify for NHS continuing healthcare but have been assessed as needing care from a registered nurse

The NHS will make a payment directly to the care home to fund care from registered nurses who are usually employed by the care home.

How much is the NHS-funded nursing care state benefit?

NHS-funded nursing care is care provided by a registered nurse and is paid for by the NHS, for people who live in a care home.

For 2015/2016, the rates for eligible care home residents assessed to require the help of a registered nurse are as follows:

  • standard rate -£112.00 per week
  • higher rate -£154.14 per week*

* Higher rate NHS Funded Nursing Care will only be applicable to those assessed as eligible prior to 1st October 2007.

What Is A Care Fees Annuity And How Does It Cover The Cost Of Care Fees?

One of the safest and most secure ways to cover the cost of care fees is to create a guaranteed income for life through a Care Fees Annuity, also known as an Immediate Needs Annuity. This gives enormous peace of mind to both the person needing care and their family.

It basically means making a lump sum payment which is designed to cover the partial or total cost of the care fees; and then generate future income to cover the remaining costs.

The benefits of a Care Fees Annuity Plan are:

  • Security: the income is guaranteed for the life of the annuitant
  • Choice of Home: once in the Care Home of choice, with a Care Plan set up to cover inflationary increases in fees, the resident should not have to be moved to a cheaper home by social services (we need to be mindful that some Care Home charge more for higher levels of Care and hence associated fees can increase – we would always look at the cost of additional Care Levels if applicable and look to retain an appropriate amount to cover this event)
  • Peace of Mind: the family of the resident never need to worry about the estate being totally eroded
  • Estate Preservation: any remaining funds in the estate can be ring-fenced for inheritance, invested accordingly, or distributed in the knowledge that care fees have been taken care of for the life of the resident

Please feel free to call our friendly team of expert Care Fees advisors if you would like to understand more about how a care fees annuity could help in your situation on: 01582 794967

What Are The Main Advantages Of A Care Fees Annuity?

The main advantage of setting up a Care Fees Annuity plan (also known as an Immediate Needs Annuity or Immediate Care Plan) is that it gives you peace of mind for life. Simply having the security of knowing that you, a family member, or someone else that you love will be looked after; and that the income to do so is guaranteed for the rest of their life is priceless.

Having that absolute guarantee that the person in care has a plan set up to cover all their future fees and expenses; and that it will continue for as long as needed is a great starting point for the rest of their family to continue loving them and enjoying their life and company.

It can totally remove the worry of running out of money and in addition it means that any remaining funds after paying for a Care Fees Annuity can then be set aside for inheritance.

Although the state will still pick up the cost of care after capital falls below the lower threshold, they will continue to fund up to their local maximum. And if the first choice of home charge more and will not accept a lower funding from the local authority, using a Care Fees Annuity alleviates any concerns that the person needing care may be required to move to a much cheaper care home.

Please feel free to call our friendly team of expert Care Fees advisors if you would like to understand more about the advantages of a well-planned care fees annuity on: 01582 794967

Can Immediate Needs Annuities Cover Concerns About Shortfalls In Income?

Where there is a concern about not having enough income to cover the costs of getting access to a good quality care home for those needing care, it is definitely worth considering an Immediate Needs Annuity (also known as an Immediate Care Plan or Care Fees Annuity).

This sort of care fees plan provides an immediate income to cover the partial or total cost of care fees and can be set to escalate by a set amount, typically 5% a year. This can helps to ensure that the income is not outstripped by inflationary care fee increases and will always be able to maintain the current cost of the required care. It should be noted that some Care Homes charge more when care needs increase and it is important to consider this in calculations and recommendations. The income is usually paid monthly, is tax free, and does not affect the person’s qualification for any state benefits (provided it is paid directly to the registered care provider).

An Immediate Needs Annuity is medically underwritten meaning the cost is calculated based on age and health; so people with a major health issue that are fully dependent on assistance with all their ‘activities of daily living’ will generally have to pay less for an annuity to achieve a particular income; compared with a person in good health with minor assistance requirements, such as help with dressing and bathing only.

If you think that an Immediate Needs Annuity could be the best option for you or a family member, and you would like to understand a little more, then book a consultation without obligation with one of our specialist advisors on: 01582 794967

Should Advisors Be Accredited By The Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA)?

Only take advice from those who are qualified to give it. That way you will know all of the options that are available before making one of the biggest decisions of your life. There are certain industry standards (the CF8 qualification) that are mandatory for advisers in the long term care market, however we would recommend that you also look for advisers that are accredited by The Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA)* as they have had to demonstrate their experience and knowledge in this area of financial advice.

As Care Fees Planning specialists who are accredited by SOLLA we can show you whether it is possible to secure care at the first choice of home for the rest of the individual’s life. This can give all the family peace of mind that care fees are being met indefinitely, that they will not run out of money and fall into the hands of the Local Authority.

* The Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) aims to assist consumers and their families in finding trusted accredited financial advisers who understand financial needs in later life.

Call one of our specialist Care Fees Planning advisers for a consultation without obligation; or if you would like to understand more about the options available to you: 01582 794967

Where Can You Get The Very Best Unbiased Care Fees Advice?

As with any area of life, financial or otherwise, a little knowledge can often be a dangerous thing; so when it comes to making massive ‘Life Decision’ for your future or the lives of those you love the most, you need to speak to specialists who really understand the market.

Not all financial advisers have the necessary qualifications, experience and knowledge to give advice on getting the best levels of support and benefit within the Long Term Care market. The minimum industry standard for advisers working in the care sector is the CF8 qualification. However, we would recommend that you also look for advisers that are accredited by The Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA).

All of our advisers are fully accredited by The Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA), who were set up to assist consumers and their families in finding trusted accredited financial advisers who understand financial needs in later life.

What Happens If I Move Into A Care Home As A Self Funder And Subsequently Run Out Of Money?

Occasionally people start out with an expectation that their funds will last longer than they thought and they end up running out of money. Whilst it is always good to be optimistic, a professionally designed plan with expert advice is far more reliable and will help to reduce the risk of this happening.

However, if this situation does occur there is always the possibility for further local authority assistance. In a situation where the capital has fallen below the higher threshold of £23,250 they will be entitled to state assistance on a sliding scale until their capital falls to the lower threshold of £14,250.  They will be subject to “Tariff Income”, people are charged £1 per week for every £250 of assets on amounts falling between the lower and upper threshold.

However if the home costs more than the Local Authority maximum, than it may be necessary to seek a third party top-up, or be left with the difficult situation of having to move to a cheaper home; which could be damaging to health and wellbeing.

The best way to avoid this scenario is to get good advice from the outset; and at the very least check with the care home you choose to see if they will accept future Local Authority funding.

Please feel free to call our friendly team of expert Care Fees advisors if you would like to understand more about the advantages of a well-planned care fees strategy or if you are in a situation where you think you may run out of funds earlier than you had anticipated: 01582 794967

What Can I Do To Avoid Situation Where I Run Out Of Funds?

There are two golden rules of care fees planning:

  • Always consider all of the options and consequences of those options before making any decision.
  • Get expert help from a specialist in Care Fees Planning. Many financial advisors are not qualified or experienced enough to understand all of the potential options to make sure one of the biggest decisions of your life is made well.

A specialist financial adviser can show you whether it is possible to secure care fees at the first choice of home for the rest of the person’s life. This will give all the family peace of mind that care fees are being met indefinitely, that they will not run out of money and fall into the hands of Social Services, and if possible make sure any remaining estate is ring-fenced for inheritance.

Call one of our specialist Care Fees Planning advisors for a consultation without obligation; or if you would like to understand more about the choices of home or overall care fees planning that are available to you: 01582 794967

Do I Have To Sell My Property To Pay Care Fees?

One of the main concerns that people have when considering care fee planning is the idea that they will have to sell their home. There are several circumstances where the property is not taken into consideration, for example, if your spouse continues to live in the family home, the property is excluded from the financial assessment.

If the property is not excluded, the local authority may be able to put a charge on your property and fund the fees with a ‘deferred payment scheme’. This means that the property is used to cover the cost of your care fees, however they may limit the amount they can pay. The money owing ultimately needs paying back, either on death of the homeowner or the sale of the property, whichever happens sooner.

With careful planning and advice from a specialist in care fee planning it may be possible to structure the finances and the property in such a way that the care fees can be met indefinitely. If this is done incorrectly, however, it could lead to all the capital in the estate being eroded.

There are many ways to cover care fees, such as a Care Fees Annuity (Immediate Care Plan) which is designed to meet the shortfall in income required to meet care fees. These options can give a guaranteed income for life removing the worry of running out of money and giving peace of mind to the family that a loved one can stay in their first choice of Care Home for the rest of their life.

Please feel free to call our friendly team of expert Care Fees advisors if you would like to understand more about right to keep your property and how it can be used to fund your care fees on: 01582 794967

Can I Choose My Care Home If The State Is Paying?

When people have had a level of independence all of their lives and made their own decisions about where they live and the way they like their home, it is very hard on them to be forced into a particular dwelling.

The good news is that, even if you need local authority support in covering the cost of a care home, you do have some choice in where you live. This choice is limited to homes that accept Local Authority funding, as they will have a maximum fee level, but is often really important for the person needing care to feel that they had a say in the decision.  This can be half the fee level at a more expensive home and so it is important to check with the home, even if you are now privately funding, that they will accept funding from the local authority should you run out of money.  If they will not, then it may be necessary to move to a cheaper home.

The local authority will allow a third party top up, so if family members or friends are willing to pay the difference between the home that they are in and the maximum the Local Authority will pay, the need to move home may not arise.

If you speak to a specialist adviser, with expertise in the care fees planning, it may be possible to structure finances in such a way that care fees can be paid indefinitely and hence remove the worry of running out of money and having to move loved ones to a cheaper home.  Most families wish to ensure that their relatives can stay in the care home of their choice for the rest of their lives as well as safeguarding as much of the existing capital as possible; so getting the right advice from the outset is vitally important.

Call one of our specialist Care Fees Planning advisors for a consultation without obligation; or if you would like to understand more about the choices of home or overall care fees planning that are available to you: 01582 794967