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Last updated:
19/10/2018

What is capital and how will the local authority assess this?

  1. Overview
  2. What is residential care and will I have to pay?
  3. What is capital and how will the local authority assess this?
  4. How will the local authority assess my income?
  5. What is the most I will have to pay?
  6. What are top-up fees?
  7. What are Deferred Payment Agreements (DPA)?
  8. The Mental Health Act and section 117 aftercare
  9. What if I cannot afford the charges?
  10. Next steps

Capital can include buildings, land, premium bonds, shares and savings that you own. You may own a property with someone else. Unless this is land, the local authority treats you as owning half of it, even if you did not pay that much towards it. This will change if there is evidence that you don’t own half.

The rules on what counts as capital and what doesn’t can be complicated. Some capital can always be left out, or, left out for periods of time depending on the circumstances.

Your main home will not count as capital if you need to stay in a residential care home for a temporary period.

Your main home will not count as capital if you need to stay in a residential care home for a temporary period.

If you need to move to residential care permanently, the value of your former home will be considered as capital and taken into consideration for part of the financial assessment.

However, it will not count as capital if any of the following people are living there permanently before your move into a care home:

  • Your partner,
  • Your ex-partner (as long as you were a couple when you moved into the care home),
  • Your ex-partner if they are a lone parent,
  • A family member aged 60 or over,
  • Your child who is aged under 18, or
  • A family member who is incapacitated.

 If your capital does not count, this is known as being ‘disregarded.’

How does my capital affect how much I have to pay?

If the local authority works out you have capital more than £40,000 you will have to pay for all of your residential care accommodation. If they run the service where you will be living, they will set a standard fee. If they don’t, they will charge you what the service charges them.

If you have assets which are slightly above the £40,000 upper limit, the local authority should think about how long this may last. They need to plan when your assets will be below that limit when working out your charges.

If you have capital below £40,000, they will be fully disregarded in the local authority’s means test for care home provision. Therefore, you will be able to get help towards your care home fees from your local authority.

It should be noted that although you do not have to make any contribution towards care home fees from your capital below £40,000, you will be expected to contribute from your day to day income.

What does ‘notional capital’ mean?

Notional capital is capital that may be included in the means test even though you do not have it.

Notional capital may be capital which:

  • You could have if you applied for it, such as a pension
  • Is paid to someone else instead of you, or
  • You have got rid of yourself, to reduce how much you have to pay (‘deprivation of capital’)

Examples of deprivation of capital can include:

  • Giving money away as a gift
  • Going on expensive holidays
  • Living an extravagant lifestyle, if you did this to deliberately to take advantage of the system.

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Within this subject

  1. Overview
  2. What is residential care and will I have to pay?
  3. What is capital and how will the local authority assess this?
  4. How will the local authority assess my income?
  5. What is the most I will have to pay?
  6. What are top-up fees?
  7. What are Deferred Payment Agreements (DPA)?
  8. The Mental Health Act and section 117 aftercare
  9. What if I cannot afford the charges?
  10. Next steps
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