If you are struggling to live at home, even with the support of care workers, you may want to consider moving into a care home. To start the process, you can contact your local council social work department and request an assessment of your care needs, particular if you need support to pay the care fees, including the free personal and nursing care payments. The assessment is known as a ‘needs assessment’. If you request a face-to- face assessment to be carried out in your own home, you can have a family member, a friend or an independent advocate with you at the assessment if you wish. If the social work department’s assessment agrees that you need to move into a care home because you have eligible care needs, they will assess your personal finances. This is known as a ‘financial assessment’. However, you should not be asked about your finances until your needs assessment has been carried out.
Every local council’s social work department must follow the guidance published by the Scottish Government to work out how much you will need to pay towards your care home fees.
Care Home Fees and Funding Advice
Our fees come under two funding streams, council funded residents and private funded residents (self-funders). Our care home fees are payable by the individual, however you may be eligible for help depending on your circumstances. It is important to note that most cases are specific to the individual, and we cannot normally advise specific cases.
Council Funded Residents:
You may be eligible to be classed as council funded, this is where the council will pay the cost of the Care Home above what you can afford to pay. The council will split the bill, with a percentage being sent to you to pay and the remainder being paid by the council. Any application will be dependent on circumstances and should be discussed with your local authority.
If you are classed as eligible to receive support from your local authority the local authority will pay us the council funded rate. This is the council approved flat rate and is in fact much lower than the true cost of care required to run our home. This is negotiated nationally and the council buy our services at this subsidised rate.
Private Funded Residents (Self-Funders):
If you are not council funded, you will be privately funded (Self-Funder) and you will be responsible for the full amount of any fees. Residents who are classified as private are charged at the true cost required to run our home. This cost covers accommodation, food, care and medical supplies to the home.
However, many people are eligible to receive free personal care and/or nursing care. This should be discussed with your social worker but free personal care amounts to £171 per week for residential and £249 per week for nursing care.
Free Personal Care
In Scotland, if you are over 65 and have care needs that have been assessed and meet the definition of ‘personal care’ which should be met in a care home, your local council will pay £171 a week as a ‘personal care payment’ towards your care home fees. If your care needs are assessed at a ‘nursing care’ level, which means you need a nursing care home placement, your local council will pay an additional £78 a week towards your care home fees. This means the council’s total contribution towards your care home fees will be £249 a week. However, if you are eligible for and decide to accept, the personal care payment from the council, you will no longer be eligible to receive Attendance Allowance or the care component of Disability Living Allowance after being in a care home for more than 28 days.
However, you will be expected to pay the full costs of your care home fees if you have capital over the upper capital threshold (currently £26,000). In this situation, you will be known as a ‘self-funder’. If you have savings or property below £26,000, your local council is responsible for the cost of your care home fees if you have eligible care needs, but they will assess how much you are able to pay towards your care home fees each week.
It is not unusual for private residents to move into a care home while they still have finances to sort out. There are schemes available to help make this process as smooth as possible.
A useful guide to paying Care Home fees in Scotland is available from the charity Independent Age and further advice is available on their website.
There are a number of publications available to help you should you require more information.
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)
Registered with the Care Inspectorate and the Care Quality Commission. Registered in England, Company Registration No. 05480039.Registered Office: 12 Mayfield Road, South Croydon, Surrey, CR2 0BE.