informed choice

Property

The capital limit of £23,250 for means testing in England includes the value of your property. Property ownership is one of the main reasons why you will be fully expected to fund your own care.

There are certain circumstances where the value of your property will be disregarded by the local authority, if someone else lives there.

Some examples include your spouse or partner, a relative over age 60 or a relative who is disabled. A disregard of property is also available for a minor (under age 16) who is dependent on the person in care, or a carer who has given up their own home to provide care.

Twelve week disregard

If it is agreed that a property needs to be sold to fund care fees, the local authority can offer a twelve week disregard period that allows the family time to sell the property.

Provided that assets fall below the upper capital limit during this disregard period, the local authority should pay care fees.

If the property remains unsold after twelve weeks, the local authority can continue to pay care fees under what is known as a deferred payment agreement.

All monies loaned from the local authority under this deferred payment agreement have to be repaid when the property is sold or when the person needing care dies. It is important to keep this debt under review, as it can mount up quickly.

It is also important to understand that the local authority will only pay care fees up to their agreed limit. This may not cover the cost of care in a preferred home. They will also take into consideration all pension income received by the resident, apart from the personal expenses allowance of £22.30 per week.

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