Local authority funding
Finding out whether your clients qualify for local authority funding is a two-stage process:
- Care needs assessment - This will identify the nature and level of support required.
- Financial assessment - Means test which will look at your client’s finances.
Everyone is entitled to a care needs assessment, irrespective of how much money or capital they have.
Limits and assets
Your client will be liable to pay all of their care costs if their savings and assets are over the savings threshold for local authority funding. If your client’s income and savings are above this limit it’s still worth contacting the local authority. These are the thresholds for the tax year 2023/24:
|Part of the UK||Savings threshold for local authority funding|
|Northern Ireland||£23,250 (care at home). There is no capital limit for care in a care home|
|Scotland||£32,750 (care at home). There is no capital limit for care in a care home|
|Wales||£24,000 (care at home) or £50,000 (care in a care home)|
Sourced: 17 October 2023, View - Money Advice Service
If your client’s income and savings are below the savings threshold, they may be eligible for funding but the local authority may still expect them to contribute from any income they receive. Income contributions shouldn’t take your client's income below the weekly Personal Expenses Allowance (PEA), in Wales this is called the ‘Minimum Income amount’. This is for personal expenditure on items such as toiletries and haircuts. The weekly PEA for 2023/24 is between £28.01 and £39.50 (depending on which part of the UK you live in).
What assets are excluded?
In the financial assessment, the following assets aren't included:
- The home will be ignored if there is a spouse/partner still living in the property or a close relative who is disabled or over 60. It will also be ignored if your client is legally liable to support a child aged below 16 living in the property.
- If your client has a partner and their savings are held separately, the partners’ savings will not be taken into account. However, if savings are held in a joint account they might be taken into account.
- Certain types of investment bonds with a life assurance element are usually disregarded.
- Winter Fuel Payment, Disability Living Allowance and the Personal Independence Payment mobility components.
These are some of the assets that are excluded. Some assets are partially disregarded in calculating how care should be funded. A list of what’s included in any financial assessment can be found View - here.
Information researched and accurate as of October 2023. Not to be relied upon by advisers or their clients.