abdcare blog

IS LONG TERM ELDERLY CARE EVER FREE?

07.08.2018

We asked Andrew Douglas, Partner at Awdry Bailey & Douglas Solicitors who specialises in elderly care, for his views on this issue?

Surely elderly care is always free? There are only two situations where Long term care is totally free, meaning that people should not pay for their care at all. The first situation is if a person qualifies for NHS Continuing Healthcare (“CHC”). In this situation the NHS pays for everything including board, lodging and medical treatment. To qualify a person must have a primary health need determined by the nature, intensity, complexity and unpredictability of their medical condition. This type of funding is not for life and is reviewed regularly. The bar for qualifying is high. The second situation is if a person has been detained in hospital under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983 meaning that upon discharge if the same condition applies they are entitled to free aftercare whether rich or poor.

Is elderly care ever partially free? Again there are two principal situations where this arises. Firstly if a person does not qualify for CHC but as part of a follow up assessment qualifies for Funded Nursing Care. This means no matter how rich or poor they get a payment towards their nursing costs in a registered nursing home or a residential home registered for nursing. The rate is £155.05 per week. The second situation arises where but for certain disregards a person’s house would be used to pay for their care. The disregards include where a person goes into care but leaves behind in their house a spouse, partner or former partner provided they are not estranged or a relative over the age of 60. There are other disregards.

If not free or partially free what then happens? Firstly your income is taken into account to include state pension and occupational pensions. Then your capital is taken into account to include your house assuming none of the disregards referred to above apply. You are then treated as a private funder and have to pay for your long term care assuming your total savings exceed £23,250.

To know more and for a free appointment to find out answers to the questions that need answering email Andrew Douglas or his team on ajd@awdrys.co.uk or call on 0800 072 8636. Alternatively visit our website www.abdcare.co.uk

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