The care fees financial assessment
The local authority will conduct a financial assessment of older people to establish who, the LA or you the individual, will pay for any necessary care and support. The aim of the council in these processes is to make sure that they do not have to fund the placement themselves, and the responsibility for funding the care remains with the individual.
This is not to say that they deliberately seek to make it go their way, simply that they will do a thorough job in looking into people’s finances and financial history, and that it is in their interest to uncover any hidden money or financial irregularities.
What is involved in a Financial Assessment?
It can feel quite invasive to go through a financial assessment, so you should prepare yourself for the openness that it will require. It is important to note that if you do not consent to the assessment, if you refuse to answer any of the questions, or if you try and hide anything, you will by default be required to fund your own care.
The first thing that you will be required to do is complete the financial assessment form, which they will provide. At the end you will need to declare that the information is a true and accurate reflection. In some cases a representative may visit the individual to help them fill in the form or seek further information or evidence.
The assessment will go through all the ‘wealth’ that belongs to an individual, this includes what you own ‘capital’ and any income you earn.
‘Capital’ refers to any assets you own, including savings, bonds, cash, investments and any value in property including the value of your home.
‘Income’ refers to any regular money that is paid to you, such as state pension, personal pension, rent paid on owned properties, investment income, yields on bonds, etc.
You may be required to provide information about the finances of your partner as well as your own, this is to make sure that they know what belongs to who and which money should be taken into account for your care. Once this has been established, they will disregard the money that has been accepted and proven to belong to your partner.
Where you have a joint bank account, or any other assets are owned jointly, the council will assume unless it can be shown otherwise that the value of those assets is shared 50/50.
Following completion of the assessment they are required to provide you with a clear and full breakdown of their findings showing what Capital and Income they have taken into account, and how much they assess that you should contribute towards your care.
Light-touch financial assessments
There are some circumstances when a local authority may decide to move forward as if a full assessment have been completed, even when it has not. This is done when the local authority has full confidence that the individual will have sufficient resources to meet the cost of their care and therefore will not be eligible for financial support. This is called a ‘light-touch financial assessment’.
For more information or if you wish to discuss care for your loved one please email email@example.com