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Navigating the Funding MazeAdrienne Tooke

Adrienne Tooke is a Director of Nightingales, and takes the lead on all things financial.

For some, the requirement to sell a property quickly to fund care-needs can be a crisis in itself. Whilst for others there is less urgency, there are still opportunities that should not be overlooked. I hope I can help you navigate through the maze of different choices.

Nightingales Price Promise: The first thing to know is that, should you choose us to care for your loved-one, we promise to keep fee rises in line with the Consumer Price Index, save for if something extraordinary happens. We make the same promise to our staff so they can be sure their income will always match inflation. We also promise to treat all our clients on the same basis, so you will never be subsidising someone else’s care just because they are funded in a different way.

Local Authority Funding: If an individual’s capital and savings are below a certain threshold, they are usually eligible for local authority funding –

NHS Continuing Healthcare: For people with a primary health need, NHS Continuing Healthcare provides fully-funded care. Eligibility is not based on the individual’s ability to pay but on their health and care needs. However, increases do not always match inflation –

Attendance Allowance: This is a non-means-tested, tax-free allowance available to individuals aged 65 or over who have care needs –

Personal Budgets or Direct Payments: Instead of paying the care provider directly, local authorities may offer you a personal budget or direct payment –

Self-funding: If an individual’s capital and savings exceed the threshold, they will likely have to pay for their own care. This can involve using savings, investments, income, or selling property.

Nightingales Line of Credit: We are happy to consider extending a line of credit for up to the first six months to give time for the property to sell, subject to a charge on the property and interests equal to Lloyds Bank’s current unsecured loan rate. You may also be able to get a bank loan which may be at a more competitive rate.

Twelve-Week Property Disregard: You can apply to your local authority for a twelve-week property disregard which, if approved, means they will pay towards the fees during this twelve week period, and which is not repayable. Any shortfall remains due. To be eligible, it must be applied for within the first six months of being in a home –

Deferred Payment Agreements: In addition to the above, local authorities may offer deferred payment agreements, allowing some individuals to use the value of their homes to fund care home fees. However, this seldom covers the full cost of care, so would only be a part solution –

Benefits: Other benefits like Pension Credit, Savings Credit, and Universal Credit can also contribute to care home costs data/assets/pdf_file/0011/237746/Deferred-Payment-Policy-Adult-Social-Care.pdf

Third-party Top-ups: If someone chooses a care home that costs more than the local authority usually expects to pay, a third party can pay the difference.

Care Fees Annuities: A form of insurance where, in exchange for a one-off lump sum, an insurer provides a regular income to pay for care for the rest of the person’s life. This can be a useful way to create a sense of certainty in regard to future care costs, but does require checking the details to ensure it covers possible changes in care needs.