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Care Homes: Fees and Charges

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to Local Authority Circular (2001)10 on charges for residential accommodation, under what circumstances a local authority is permitted to terminate its contract with the care provider for the 12-week property disregard; and whether the disregard continues to qualify for an individual who sells their home before the end of the 12-week period. (307697)

Local authorities have a duty to provide residential care for people who are assessed as needing such care but are unable to pay for it. Under regulation 20 of the National Assistance (Assessment of Resources) Regulations 1992, no one shall be assessed as being unable to pay for their own residential care if their capital exceeds £23,000. It is for each local authority to decide whether it has a duty to provide care for an individual, taking all the available information into account and taking its own legal advice where appropriate.

For up to 12 weeks from the date a person is provided with local authority supported permanent residential care for the first time, the value of the dwelling the person would otherwise normally occupy as their only or main residence is disregarded from the financial assessment. If a person sells their home within the 12-week period, the disregard ceases to have effect from the date of the sale.

If the resident has more than £23,000 in capital, including the money from the sale of their main or only residence, they will be assessed as being able to pay and should contract for their own residential care. If the resident has less than £23,000, the local authority contract should continue and the money from the sale will be taken into account in the financial assessment for charging purposes.