Care Costs & the Means Test
Residential care homes can cost between £400 – £500 per week but if care requires more complex needs, then fees of £1,000 per week are not uncommon.
The key thing to remember is that the need for care does not always mean that an individual has a lower life expectancy, so fees could be payable for a long period meaning that early planning is essential to ensure that funds are available or state help will be required, which may not be enough to fund the most suitable home for you.
The Means Test
Anyone who has capital of their own above £23,250 will be assessed as being able to pay the ‘standard rate’. (this is the amount it costs the local authority to provide a place in a home.)
If you live in a care home that provides nursing care the NHS is responsible for meeting the cost of care provided by a registered nurse.
Residents with capital between £14,250 and £23,250 are expected to make some contribution from their capital as well as income.
You should not have to make any contribution from your capital below £14,250, but you will still be expected to contribute from your income.
The Family Home
The family home is disregarded from the means test if a spouse, partner, civil partner or qualifying relative lives there permanently.
Other disregarded capital includes
- certain types of investment bond with a life assurance elemen
- Money in certain types of trust
- As you can only ever be assessed as an individual, any capital held by a spouse or civil partner is disregarded as long as it is not held in a joint account. 50% of any monies in a joint account will be taken into account in a means test.