If you, a family member or friend requires long term care you should firstly check what level of assistance your Local Authority provides with respect to care home fees. An assessment will be made by Social Services on your exact care needs, your level of income and savings and state support - if any. If your level of income and savings is low, your local authority will pay in full or in part your long term care costs. If you are not entitled to financial aid following the assessment you will normally be expected to pay for care fees out of your own income or savings. Our Nursing Home Fees page outlines the conditions for local authority and NHS funding.
If you are under 65 you may be entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or if you are over 65 you may be eligible for Attendance Allowance (AA). Both benefits are not means-tested or taxable. DLA has a care and mobility component, whereas AA has two levels. Unlike NHS partial funding, the care recipient does not need to be receiving nursing care to be eligible. If nursing care is being received they can be claimed as well as receiving NHS partial funding (or RNCC). However, entitlement to the DLA Care Component and Attendance Allowance ceases after 28 days if you are receiving assistance with care fees from the local authority, or from when the the care recipient went into hospital if going into care from hospital. If you are paying your own care fees, or the local authority is providing temporary funding, such as under a deferred payments scheme, in which they will be reimbursed, entitlement to DLA Care Component and Attendance Allowance continues.
Pension Credit has two aspects: guaranteed and savings credit. They are means-tested, but not taxable. The capital limit for when it begins to be withdrawn is raised to £10,000 from £6,000 when someone goes into care. However, if the care recipient lives alone and owns a home, the value of the house becomes included in the means test, which usually results in guarantee credit being withdrawn.
Michael Migan BA (Hons)
Care Funding Manager
Care Fees Advisers