If you are admitted to a care home as a temporary placement then your main residence is disregarded from the financial assessment for the period of the temporary residence, up to a maximum of 52 weeks. If you own any additional properties or land then the value of these are included in the financial assessment from the start of the placement.
If you are admitted as a permanent placement, the value of your main residence is disregarded from the financial assessment for the first 12 weeks following your admission into care. If however you were to sell your main residence during this initial 12 week period, then the sale proceeds will be included in the financial assessment from the date of the sale. If you own any additional properties or land then the value is included in the financial assessment from the start of the placement.
In some circumstances your main residence will be disregarded from the financial assessment completely, if it is also the main residence of any of the following people:
- Your partner (this means husband or wife, or someone you live with as husband/wife or civil partner)
- A relative who is aged 60 or over
- A relative who is incapacitated
- Your child aged under 18
- A lone parent with a dependent child who is your estranged or divorced partner
The Local Authority has discretion to consider other situations and these are considered on their individual merits.
If any of these conditions cease during the placement then the value of the property will be included in the financial assessment from that date.
What if someone jointly owns my main residence/additional property?
We would examine documentation to confirm that the property is jointly owned and we would normally only take into account the value of your share of the property.
What if my main residence/additional property has been transferred to someone else?
We would examine the documentation confirming this and we will ask you to provide information relating to the terms of the transfer. We will use this information to base our decision on whether the property is included or disregarded from the financial assessment.
Will I have to sell my main residence?
You can choose whether or not to sell your main residence. If you choose not to sell your main residence and you are unable to pay the assessed charge for your placement then you will be asked to enter into a Deferred Payment agreement (see What is a Deferred Payment Agreement?). The department will put a “Legal Charge” on the main residence and accrue the debt until a later date. This means that we will recover the amount that you owe us from the money you get if or when you decide to sell your home or from your estate after your placement has ended. You will however be required to use your weekly income and any accessible savings to pay towards your weekly charge until your property is sold or until your savings have reduced.
What happens if I sell my main residence?
If you choose to put your main residence up for sale we will continue to help you pay for your care costs until your property is sold. Once it is sold you must tell us and we will then calculate how much you owe for the placement costs.
As part of the financial assessment the local authority will value all of your properties for financial assessment purposes. If the sale price differs from the valuation then we will consider the reasons for this at that time.
What is a Deferred Payment Agreement?
A Deferred Payment Agreement is a legal agreement between the service user and the local authority.
Where a service user owns their main residence and they do not wish or cannot sell their property, the Deferred Payment Scheme enables the service user to meet their care costs by entering into an agreement with the local authority to defer their payment for care.
The local authority can only agree to a deferred payment if the person in the care home owns their own property and has insufficient income and/or other accessible assets (other than the value of their main residence) to meet the costs of care.