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A guide to paying nursing home fee’s

If you or a close relative is considering moving into a nursing home, you are no doubt wondering how much it will cost. Residential care can be very expensive but there is financial help available from local authorities.

Most people will have to pay something towards the cost of their residential care and nursing fees. Just how much is calculated by your local Health and Social Care Trust, who will carry out a financial assessment. This will happen even if you are only planning on staying at the residential home you have chosen temporarily.

The Financial Assessment

Your HSC Trust will work out how much you have to pay towards your care home fees based on your income and any capital you have. Your income could be the interest you receive on your savings and your private or state pension as well as benefits you might receive, such as Attendance Allowance, Pension Credit, or the care element of the Disability Living Allowance.

Capital, on the other hand, will include your savings and any investments you may have as well as any property you own, such as your own home or a holiday home.

How Much Will You Have to Pay?

The amount you will have to pay towards your nursing home fees will be based on all your income, including the benefits you receive. Do make sure that you are in receipt of all the benefits to which you are entitled before your financial assessment. Whatever amount you pay towards your fees, you will have ?23.50 a week to spend as you wish. In addition to this, you may also get up to ?5.75 a week in savings credit as long as you are over 65. If you are in receipt of the Disability Living Allowance, you will also continue to receive its mobility component.

Those who have capital valued at more than ?23,250 will be expected to meet the full costs of paying their nursing home fees. However, this is set to change. The current coalition government intends to raise the threshold to ?123,000 and cap care costs to ?75, 000 per annum. These changes will not be implemented until 2017.

Currently, those with capital valued at between ?14,250 and ?23,250 will be considered as having an income of ?1 for every ?250 of their savings and assets and the local HSC Trust will subsidise their care costs according to a sliding scale. Those with assets of less than ?14,250 will have their capital ignored when their HSC trust calculates how much they will have to pay towards their fees.

Choosing Your Care Home

If you qualify for support from your local trust, they will select a nursing or residential home that is suitable for you. If you wish, you can choose an alternative that charges a similar price. However, if you wish to move into a home which charges higher fees than those your HSC trust is willing to pay, you can ask a close friend or relative to pay the difference. You won’t be able to pay it yourself, of course, because all your income and capital will already have been taken into account in your financial assessment.

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