Income and State Benefits on Residential Care Fees
If you enter into Residential Care then usually almost all of your income
(except certain state benefits)
will be fully taken into account in any Local Authority assessment.
As a general rule any income you receive is taken fully into account and has to
be used toward paying the cost of residential care fees.
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Treatment of Income
If you enter into Residential Care then usually almost all of your income (except certain state benefits) will be fully taken into account in any Local Authority assessment.
As a general rule any income you receive is taken fully into account and has to be used toward paying the cost of residential care fees. There are some circumstances in which your income is partly disregarded or can be totally disregarded.
Tariff income is deemed to be income, even if it is not actually received. It includes income that you may have deprived yourself of, income that would be available if claimed or income due to be received but not yet paid. Capital can be treated as a source of income by the Local Authority. If you have capital of between £14,250 and £23,250 then each £250 (or part of £250) over £14,250 of capital produces a “tariff income” of £1 per week. For example, if you have £15,250 in capital you’ll be treated as if you had an extra £4 of income a week. You may have to pay the “tariff income” from your capital, which over time will reduce your capital levels.
Certain benefits can be disregarded. For such as Disability Living Allowance (“DLA”) mobility component, income from the Independent Living Funds (“ILF”), special payments for war widows/widower, some income from the savings credit part of Pension Credit and 50% of an occupational or personal pension.
Personal Expenses Allowance
If you are in residential care accommodation and receiving help from a Local Authority you are entitled to only a very small allowance of just £24.90 (as at 2018) for personal expenses e.g. clothing, toiletries, treats and presents for relatives and friends.
The Local Authority sometimes has discretion to allow you a larger personal expenses allowance. This is relevant if you have a dependent child or/are a temporary resident and need to meet the costs of your own property. If you are likely to experience hardship, you should complain to the Local Authority and ask them to increase your allowance.
Use your full personal expenses allowance – Check to make sure that you use the full amount of your Personal Expenses Allowance. If you are likely to experience financial hardship then ask for an increase.
Beware of tariff income. If you have savings between £14,250 and £23,250, be careful of any tariff income that might be included in any assessment.
Treatment of Social Security and Welfare Benefits
If you go into care, then the Local authority will claim most of your income and State Benefits to help pay for your care. Make sure you claim your full entitlement to any social security and welfare benefits. This can offer significant opportunities to increase the income available to be used to help pay for any residential care fees. Visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Welfare Rights Organisation for information and advice. The main benefits you might be entitled to are Pension Credit, Income Support, Attendance Allowance (over 65) and Disability Living Allowance (under 65).
Retirement pension can of course be claimed by you but will be used to help pay for your care.
It may be possible to claim for Pension Credit, if you are over 60 but will be used to help pay for your care.
This benefit is tax free for people over 65 and who need help with personal care due to physical disability or mental disability. There are two rates, dependent on the level of help required. This will be used to help pay for your care.
Disability Living Allowance
Disability Living Allowance is similar to Attendance Allowance for people under 65 who need help with personal care due to physical disability or mental disability. This is currently in two parts, a Care Component and a Mobility Component. This will be used to help pay for your care.
It may be possible to claim Income Support, if you are under 60. Under 60’s should have capital of less than £16,000. If you are over 60 then you should claim Pension Credit instead.
Visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Welfare Rights Organisation for a fee assessment to see if you are entitled to any social security and welfare benefits.
Challenge the decision – If the decision is that you are not entitled to certain social security or welfare benefits, then challenge the decision.
Re-apply for benefits – If there is any change in your personal or financial circumstances apply for a new re-assessment.
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I’m Adrian Chambers and specialise in Residential Care Fees Protection matters. We aim to provide our clients with an outstanding legal service.
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