Please note: this article was not written by a financial or legal specialist, and does not cover every circumstance. Please consult a specialist before making any financial or legal decisions.

If you don’t own a property, you will still need to know the total of all your available savings and assets.

The availability of Local Authority funding for care costs also depends on:

  • Your financial status
  • The part of the UK you live in (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales)

Getting funding towards care if you don’t own a property

England

If you live in England, you should qualify for full funding towards care costs if you own less than £14,250 in savings and assets.

Questions about funding care?

Care Sourcer’s friendly care experts are on hand to provide guidance on typical care costs, help you explore your funding and benefit options, or even negotiate care fees on your behalf. Call us on freephone:

0800 098 8299

(Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)

Scotland

If you live in Scotland and are over 65, you are entitled to full funding towards personal care in your own home (regardless of savings or assets) if you are assessed as needing it. People in Scotland of any age can access free nursing care, as long as you’ve been assessed as requiring nursing care support – this is generally allocated through your local GP.

For care homes, if you have savings and investments of less than £28,000 and do not own property, you’ll get help with care home fees. This is known as publicly-funded. The council will pay the care home their standard rate and you will pay an assessed contribution based on your income and savings.

Northern Ireland

A local Health and Social Care Trust decides the amount of money you should contribute to your care home fees. So, if you have between £14,250 and £23,250, you will be regarded as having £1 of income, per week, per £250 of savings. Your required contribution will be based on this.

If you have £14,250 or less, the trust will ignore your capital.

Wales

Generally speaking, if you have savings or assets worth less than £50,000 you will be eligible to receive financial support from the council towards the cost of residential care.

For care at home, whether you have to pay will depend on your council which will first carry out a financial assessment. In Wales, the most that the council can charge for care and support at home is currently £80 per week and must be an amount that you can reasonably afford to pay.

Arranging care home funding

The first step is to arrange a care needs assessment through your local authority (which may be called a local council or trust, depending on where you live).

The needs assessment will evaluate your day-to-day support requirements. Using input from a team of medical professionals, the assessment is designed to reveal whether your needs should be supported within a 24/7 care home environment, or whether you can continue to live at home.

If the care needs assessment recommends that care is needed, a further financial assessment will be arranged to see if the local authority will pay towards the care.

Read more about care needs assessments.

Giving away property in order to get more funding towards care

Giving away your home (by transferring the deeds to someone else) or other assets specifically in order to reduce the amount you need to pay towards care is known as ‘deprivation of assets’.

If the local authority carries out a financial assessment and determines that a deprivation of assets has occurred, they may decide to calculate your financial liabilities as if you still owned your asset. This is called ‘notional capital’. This can mean that you are liable to pay more for your care than you can afford.

Local authorities can look back years into your financial records for signs of asset deprivation, but they will be specifically looking for evidence that you deliberately disposed of the asset in order to not be liable to pay towards care.

If you are thinking about giving away assets and know that you may need care and support in the near future, it is advised to get in contact with your local authority to ask them if it is likely to be seen as asset deprivation. Having a written response from the local authority may help if you need to dispute their decisions in the future.

Shared ownership of property with someone else

If you share the ownership of a property with someone else, only your share of the property’s worth will be taken into account when the financial assessment is carried out. 

The local authority will work out the value of the property and there are many different factors that can affect this valuation. If you are considering having the other owner buy your share, it is advisable to talk to local authority before you do this.

Summary

If I don’t own a property, do I still need to pay towards care?

Depending on where you live within the UK and the type of care needed, you may still need to contribute towards the cost of your care, even if you do not own a property.

It is recommended to seek financial support to discuss the options available to you.

How can I claim local authority funding towards care?

To check what funding you qualify for, you need to contact your local authority for a care needs assessment. Once a care plan has been agreed, the local authority will then arrange a financial assessment to determine if you qualify for funding.

Can I give away my property in order to get more funding towards care?

Giving away your home (by transferring the deeds to someone else) or other assets specifically in order to reduce the amount you need to pay towards care is known as ‘deprivation of assets’.

If the local authority carries out a financial assessment and determines that a deprivation of assets has occurred, they may decide to calculate your financial liabilities as if you still owned your asset. This can mean that you are liable to pay more for your care than you can afford.

What happens if I share ownership of my property with someone else?

If you share the ownership of a property with someone else, only your share of the property’s worth will be taken into account when the financial assessment is carried out.

The local authority will work out the value of the property and there are many different factors that can affect this valuation. If you are considering having the other owner buy your share, it is advisable to talk to local authority before you do this.

Questions about funding care?

Care Sourcer’s friendly care experts are on hand to provide guidance on typical care costs, help you explore your funding and benefit options, or even negotiate care fees on your behalf.

Call us on freephone: 0800 098 8299 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)

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