Paying for your Social Care

From October 2023, changes to Adult Social Care will affect financial assessment and how much you have to pay for your care.  There is more information about what will change and how this will affect you on the Department of Health and Social Care website.

We will update this webpage and our paying for your care booklet closer to the time.

If you need permanent care in a care home

This section applies if you need permanent care in a care home.

Benefits when you move into permanent care

We will notify the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) when you move into permanent care if you receive Personal Independence Payments, Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance.   These benefits stop after four weeks in care. This is why your care home charges for your first four weeks in care are different from the rest of your stay.

There are some things that you must do when you move into permanent care and you receive benefits:

  • You must report your change in circumstances to the DWP. They will tell you how your other benefits will be affected. 
  • You must tell your local council if you receive Housing Benefit and Council Tax reductions. These stop after a four week notice period when you move into permanent care.

Your partner’s benefits or benefit entitlements may be affected when you move into care. Partners should talk to:

  • the DWP about benefits they may be entitled to
  • your local council about a council tax reduction if they will be living alone when you move into care.

We will take your partner’s circumstances into account in your financial assessment so that they do not suffer hardship when you move into permanent care.

Personal expenses allowance

You are likely to have to pay most of your income towards the cost of your care if the council is helping to pay costs.  

We will not leave you with less than the personal expenses allowance (PEA) set annually by central government. The PEA is intended to cover personal costs which are not part of your care, such as toiletries, clothes, hairdressing and presents.

If you own your own home

If you own your home, we will include the value of your home in your financial assessment unless a property disregard applies. A property disregard means that the value of your property is not counted in your financial assessment either on an ongoing basis or for a period of time.

The most common property disregard applies when your partner (or certain other relatives) live in your home with you and they will continue to live there when you move into care. The effect of the disregard is that we won’t include the value of your home in your financial assessment while your partner / qualifying relative lives there. Please contact the FAB Team straight away if they move out of your home as this will affect your charges. You may have to pay backdated charges if you delay.

If this type of property disregard does not apply to your situation but your capital (not counting the value of your home) is less than £23.250, we will disregard the value of your home during your first 12 weeks in permanent care.

This means that for your first 12 weeks in permanent care:

  • you will pay an assessed amount (determined by your financial assessment), and
  • the council will fund the balance agreed in your plan.

When the 12 week period ends, you become responsible for funding the full cost of your care unless you have made arrangements with the council to have a deferred payment agreement. Please note that if you sell your home within your first 12 weeks in permanent care, the property disregard will end on the date of sale.

Deferred payment agreements

A deferred payment agreement is an option for paying for your care if you are a homeowner with limited savings or other capital. It is a loan from the council to pay care home costs. The loan is secured against your home with a legal charge.  The amount you can borrow depends on the value of your home and the equity you have in it.

You may be eligible for a deferred payment agreement if:

  • you have eligible needs for permanent care in a care home, and
  • your capital or savings (apart from the value of your home) are less than £23,250, and
  • you don’t qualify for an ongoing property disregard.

You can apply for a deferred payment agreement when:

  • you first move into permanent care or
  • your funds drop below £23,250 if you are already living in permanent care.

When you have a deferred payment agreement, each month:

  • you pay the assessed amount (determined by your financial assessment) directly to the care home
  • the council pays the amount agreed in the deferred payment agreement
  • anyone paying a top up (see below) pays the amount agreed by the council.

Every month, care costs paid by the council are added to the debt to the council. Interest and other council charges are also added - unless you have agreed to pay these separately. This means that the debt to the council increases over time.

You can repay the debt at any time but it must be repaid when you sell your home.

You may decide not to sell your home during your lifetime, but the debt must be repaid within a fixed period after death to avoid legal action being taken. See the council’s Deferred Payment Agreements policy and FAQS.

Top ups

The council will only pay what is necessary for the level of care that you need.

You may be able to live somewhere more expensive if someone (usually a family member or another third party) can ‘top up’ the difference between what the council will pay and the actual cost.

You can only pay a top up with your own money:

  • during a 12 week property disregard period (see above), or
  • when the council has agreed a top up as part of a deferred payment agreement, or
  • when your care is arranged as after-care under section 117 of the Mental Health Act.

Top ups are a financial commitment:

  • anyone who wishes to pay a top up will have to sign an agreement with the council to pay the top up for as long as you need care.
  • care home fees (and the top up) may increase during this time.
  • there are consequences if the top up is discontinued. The council will continue to meet your needs but we may have to consider moving you (subject to a risk and needs assessment) to a care home that does not require a top up.

Please see the council’s Your Circle top ups webpage for  more details.

Page updated: 09/05/2022 Page updated by: Gloucestershire County Council

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