Care Home Fees – Are You Eligible For Free Care?

Care Home Fees - Are You Eligible For Free Care?

Increases in life expectancy have led to the gradual rise of an ageing population. As a result, there has been a noticeable shift in the number of people requiring care and making enquiries into care homes. Care home fees can be expensive however and it is important that professional advice is sought to investigate whether you are entitled to any particular benefits that can help reduce this financial burden. This article provides a general overview of the key eligibility requirements for when care is available at no cost to the individual.

There currently exist three different types of care home; Residential care homes, Nursing homes and Elderly Mentally Infirm (EMI) homes. Residential care homes are there for individuals who cannot manage living in their own home, but do not have any special medical requirements. Nursing homes are for individuals who have greater medical needs than those in residential care and a registered nurse is on the premises at all times. EMI homes, on the other hand, care for elderly people with more severe medical problems.

An individual is eligible for ‘free’ care if they fall into one of the following categories:

  • Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983: The local authority and Primary Care Trust will provide free care to any individual sectioned under this Act. It is worth bearing in mind that funding is regularly reviewed for this particular area and the care will no longer be provided free of charge once the condition of the individual has improved.
  • NHS Continuing Care: Where an individual’s care requirements are primarily for health reasons, the NHS will provide all aspects of care, including food, medicine and accommodation, free of charge. This type of assistance however, is not always volunteered, and it is therefore important for individuals to take the initiative and carry out an assessment for NHS Continuing Care.

If a decision has been made not to provide you with free care, and you believe this to be incorrect, it is important that professional advice is sought at the earliest opportunity. At Seatons, we will assess your situation to find out what you are entitled to in law, and to help advise you of your rights and responsibilities. Our team of highly trained solicitors have a wealth of experience dealing with Residential Care Fees and provide clear, easy to understand legal advice at low sensible fees. For more information, feel free to give us a call on 01536 276300.