What’s included in a financial assessment for residential care?
The local authority assessor takes the following financial information into consideration.
The value of your home
This is the amount of money you would be left with if your home had been sold and all debts, including the mortgage, had been paid. If you jointly own the property, only your share will be taken into consideration.
The value of your home won’t be taken into account in a financial assessment for residential care if:
- you own the property and your partner is still living there
- you have a close relative living in the home who is incapacitated (they receive or would qualify for a disability benefit), aged 60 or over, or is a child you’re responsible for who is less than 18 years old.
The local authority has discretion to ignore the value of the property in special circumstances, such as if it’s the only home of your long-time carer.
If your partner wants to move to a different property or also decides to move to a care home and you jointly own your home, you can use their share of the sale proceeds to help them buy another property or pay for the costs of their care.
If your partner dies and the house is sold, your share of the property would then be taken into account as part of your assets.
Your total capital
This is the amount of money you have, added together, minus any debts. Any joint accounts are generally treated as an equal split. This will include:
- Bank and building society accounts
- National Savings Certificates and Ulster Saving Certificates
- Premium Bonds
- Stocks and shares
- Shares in a family business
- Trust funds
- Regular savings and investments, including Isas
- Other properties you own.
Weekly personal pension
This means private and company pensions. If you have a spouse and a private pension, half of your pension can be passed over to your spouse and won’t be taken into consideration for the means test.
Weekly state benefits and pensions
The payments you receive from any benefits are also taken into consideration in a financial assessment, including the following:
Any other weekly income
This could include rental income and any annuities, such as an immediate needs annuity.
What isn’t included in a financial assessment for residential care?
Among other things, the following won’t be included:
- Personal possessions, although see also gifting assets & property
- Surrender value of life insurance policies, annuities
- Investment bonds with a life assurance element
- Payment derived from certain trusts
- Winter Fuel Payment and any other Social Fund payments
- Christmas Bonus
- Gallantry awards
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP) mobility component and mobility supplement.
You should seek advice from an independent financial adviser (IFA), such as from a fully listed member of the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA). This is especially the case if you have complex financial arrangements, such as money in trust, certain bonds or compensation payments, or shares in a family business.
Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA)
By choosing an accredited member of the Society, you can be assured of someone with the expertise to best understand your needs to provide advice that is right for you and your family.
For more guidance on finding an IFA, see how to find a financial adviser in Which? Money.
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