Last updated on August 23rd, 2017 at 09:24 am
The rules are complex. We are often asked whether the value of your home will be taken into consideration when care fees are assessed.
The answer is – not always.
For example, if your spouse or certain other dependent relatives live in the house with you it probably won’t be, but in some other cases it can be included in local authority means testing.
You may be able to protect your home, or part of it, from potential care fee liability. We can offer advice on trusts and estate planning and the possible implications of transferring property out of your name.
We’ll advise on whether this particular action is suitable for your circumstances and the potential advantages and risks involved.
Care cap and ‘dementia tax’ FAQs
What is the so-called ‘dementia tax’?
‘Dementia tax’ is a non-official phrase coined initially by opponents of proposals from the Conservative government relating to payment of social care.
The implication is that those people who require social care (69% of whom have dementia) will be required to pay more for their care than they do at present.
How does the so-called ‘dementia tax’ work?
Currently, the cost of social care in England is covered by the council for anyone who has capital of less than £23,250. This limit does not include the value of a person’s home, unless they live in a nursing home or other form of residential care.
The Conservative manifesto proposed both that the limit should be raised to £100,000, and also that the cost of a person’s home should be included in their capital, whether they are receiving residential care or not. Those people receiving care who fall above the limit would only be required to pay the cost of their care bills after they have died, with the money then taken from the estate they leave.
This proposal was later dropped by the government due to an impending election, though the bill is likely to be re-examined at a later date. The proposals would not have affected those people living in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Is there a cap on care home fees?
Currently there is no cap on the amount that people have to pay in care costs as long as they have capital over £23,250.
There was a plan to cap care costs (care only — this does not include the cost of board and lodgings) at £72,000 by 2016. This was dropped before the last general election and the current government will review it. It is expected to come into force in 2020.
Do dementia sufferers pay council tax?
There are exemptions for people who suffer from dementia. They pertain to people classed as ‘severely mentally impaired’, which can include dementia.
The level of council tax exemption relates to the severity of the impairment; for the most extreme cases, full exemption is available.
Exemption relies on the following criteria:
- the sufferer shows severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning, which appears permanent
- the person in question has a certificate confirming this impairment from a registered medical practitioner, usually the person’s GP or consultant
- the dementia sufferer is entitled to defined disability benefits, the most common being attendance allowance (either the lower or higher rate), disability living allowance (either the higher or middle rate care components) and the new personal independence payment (either the lower or higher rate of the daily living component)
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