What are Financial Assessments and what does it mean for you
What is a Financial Assessment?
This is an assessment of your finances to calculate how much you have to contribute towards the cost of your care. The components that determine how much you have to pay towards your care are:
- Savings and Assets – these are known as capital
- Income e.g benefits, occupational pensions, annuity payments
- Disability Related Expenditure, if you are living in your own home
- Ongoing Home costs, if you are in temporary residential care
Each year the Department of Health set the threshold against which your savings and Assets are assessed. There are two thresholds known as the upper and lower capital limit.
Lower Capital limit – this is currently set at £14,250 and this means if you have capital below this amount it will not be taken into account within the financial assessment.
Upper Capital Limit – this is currently set at £23,250. This means if you have capital above this figure the Council will not help towards the cost of your care.
If you have capital above £14,250 but below £23,250 then tariff income rules will apply. This is where an income of £1 per £250 or part £250 is included within the assessment based on your capital. For example, your capital is £14,900 then £3 tariff income will apply as you have 3 x £250 or part £250 above £14,250.
Does my home count as capital?
If you are receiving care in your own home, or are in temporary residential care then the value of your home will not be taken into account within the financial assessment.
If you are in permanent residential care the value of your former home may also be disregarded whilst your wife, husband or civil partner is still living in the home or where a family member in receipt of certain disability benefits is living in the home. If the property can not be disregarded within the financial assessment we may be able to consider offering a deferred payment arrangement to help you pay for your care.
There are slightly different rules depending on whether you are receiving care in your own home or in a residential care home.
Own Home – all income will be taken into account with the exception of:
- the mobility element of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.
- The savings credit element of Pension Credit
Permanent Residential Care - all income will be taken into account with the exception of the mobility element of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment. In certain circumstances 50% of your occupational pension may be disregarded, this is subject to that amount being paid to your wife, husband or civil partner who is still living at home.
Temporary Residential Care – all income will be taken into account with the exception of any Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments.
Disability Related Expenses
If you are receiving care whilst living in your own home, within the financial assessment we may be able to make allowances for expenditure that you have to make due to your illness or disability. For example, it may be that your energy costs are higher than average, you pay for a cleaner or gardener.
In addition we will also make an allowance for any rent, mortgage payment, service charge or Council Tax that you have to pay. This will be net of any benefits or allowances you may receive for these items.
Ongoing Home costs
When you are in temporary residential care you are still responsible for your permanent home. We will make allowances within the financial assessment for things such as Rent, Council tax, Service Charges together with a nominal amount for gas, electric, telephone costs.