Deferred payment agreements and consultation

Consultation

From April 2015 the Care Act requires all councils across England to offer Deferred Payment Agreements to people needing care and support who meet certain eligibility criteria.

A Deferred Payment Agreement means that, if they don’t want to, people should not have to sell their home in their lifetime in order to pay for their care.

We want to know what everyone thinks about the principles we are proposing to follow.

A consultation and supporting information is online at
http://www.healthwatchdevon.co.uk/deferred-payment-agreements/
and runs from 9 February 2015 to 8 March 2015.

 

Thinking about residential care and wondering how to pay for it?

Care and support is changing for the better. From April 2015 the deferred payment agreements which some councils in England currently offer, will be available across the whole country.

This means that people should not have to sell their homes to pay for residential care.

A deferred payment agreement is an arrangement with the Council that will enable some people to use the value of their homes to fund residential care home costs. If you are eligible, your Council will pay your residential care home bills on your behalf. You can delay repaying the Council until you choose to sell your home, or until after your death.

Deferred payment agreements will suit some people’s circumstances better than others.

Councils may charge interest on the amount owed to them, and there may also be a fee for setting this arrangement up.

This is how it could work:

  • If you own a property and you need to go into residential care, you can put off paying until after you die; the Council will pay the care home bills and will get its money back when your home is sold; any money left over once the debt has been paid is inherited by your heirs; the Council will charge a low rate of interest; you can choose to sell your home and pay off your debt early if you wish. The Council will contact you about your Deferred Payment Agreement regularly, and will discuss with you whether your property is worth enough to cover your debt.
  • Deferred Payment Agreements will be available everywhere. However, if you have a lot of savings and investments, your council may not offer the scheme to you until you are at risk of having to sell your home (which will be when your savings drop below £23,250).

A deferred payment agreement is only one way to pay for care. To find out more about the options available, you can speak to a financial adviser or seek advice from an independent organisation such as the Money Advice Service (online or by telephone).