FAQ

If you or your family will be paying the fees yourself, you can start to visit straight away. Try and visit as many locations as possible to see what is on the market. If your local council is paying for some or all of the fees, you can also start looking immediately. Your Social Services department will assess your needs to agree the type of care you need. Once you have found a location you like, the staff there will assess your needs to make sure they can offer the kind of care that you require. There may be a funding gap between Local Authority rates and the care provider’s needs, therefore you should check your eligibility for funding and benefits such as Attendance Allowance.

Belong Villages are registered BOTH as residential AND nursing homes, because we provide residential, dementia and nursing care. Our villages also have apartments for independent living, and facilities such as hairdressers and bistros for everyone to enjoy. It is important that you have a care assessment to choose the best option, in order to stay independent for as long as possible.

Both nursing and residential homes provide accommodation, meals and personal care.

In a nursing home however the care team on duty will always include at least one qualified nurse (the number will depend on the number of residents in the home) and can therefore cater for people with a medical condition that requires nursing attention.

Residential homes will call in medical support from other agencies such as local GPs, district nurses and so on who will conduct routine appointments at the care home as well as being on standby for emergencies.

Your initial care assessment will identify which of the two care settings is most appropriate for your needs.

The financial side of paying for your care is quite complex and subject to change.

We realise that this can be daunting and so we will do everything we can to help you every step of the way.

For all customers, we arrange a financial assessment with a customer support advisor or member of the village management team. This is a discussion to look at your circumstances and the funding options available to you, based on your support needs and financial position.

 

Belong charges its customers on a weekly basis, according to your assessed needs for support and the accommodation provided.

Some of our customers need more specialist care and are supported by a qualified nurse with higer staffing levels. The difference in service for higher dependency care will be reflected in your fees. However, this difference is geneally alignted with the nursing care element of £112 per week that is provided by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), following a nurse assessment and is not means tested.

There may be circumstances where more intensive 1-1 support is required on setting in or when assessed needs have changed and this will be agreed as part of the assessment process and in partnership with the customer, the CCG and local authority.

When you come into a Belong village you will receive a written contract along with a written statement of the terms and conditions covering your stay. These explain clearly what fees will be charged, what care and services you will receive and all aspects of your stay with us.

Also, like all care homes in the UK, our villages are subject to inspection by the Care Quality Commission when residents and families get the opportunity to talk to CQC Inspectors about the support we provide.

Most people pay some costs, some people pay all the costs and a few pay little or no costs, with the local authority paying for the rest.

Currently, people with savings and assets of £23,250 or more pay for all of their accommodation and personal care. Assets may include the house you are living in if it is your property. People’s ability to pay is means tested.

There are a number of benefits and allowances that people may be eligible for, depending on the level of need. These include Attendance Allowance, Pension Credit, Continuing Care Benefit and the Registered Nursing Care Contribution.

Belong works closely with the local authority and all our residents to make sure that they can access all the benefits they are eligible for and that their funding is on a secure basis. Refer to a funding advice source such as payingforcare.org for more information.

 

If you have capital or assests above the Government threshold of £23,250 then you will normally have to pay for your own care.

What is taken into account?

- Net worth of any property owned (exemptions apply)

- Money in the bank / building society

- Stocks / shares / ISAs etc

- Right to recieve money from trust

What is not taken into account?

- Personal possessions

- Surrender value of any life insurance or endowment policy

- The capital alue of any occupational pension fund, trust fund or annuity in which a person has a life interest.

However, even if you have assets above the Government threshold, you may still be eligible for benefits or funding sources that are not means-tested, such as CCG Continuing Healthcare Funding, the nursing care element or attendance allowance. These can contribute to the weekly cost of your care.

 

This largely depends on how your assets are structured and the arrangements you make for paying your fees. If this is something you are concerned about, you may wish to access advice from specialists in funding issues for older people such as www.payingforcare.org.

This is a not-for-profit website containing a wealth of impartial information on all aspects of long term care funding, which can also help you access advice from qualified and experienced specialist care fees advisers.

State benefits for which you may be eligible include pension credit (savings or guaranteed) or attendance allowance, which is a non-means tested, tax-free benefit, for people aged 65 or over who are physically or mentally disabled.

There are various sources of funding for care but the main two if you are seeking assistance are the local authority (social services) and the pension service (formerly the Benefits Agency).

If an individual is seeking assistance from the local authority or benefits to fund the cost of their care they must prove that they qualify for it in terms of:

means: the assets that you hold must be below a certain threshold (currently £23,250 in England)

need: you must have been assessed as needing residential care. How much of your care fees the state will pay again depends on your assets and income.

 

You will need to approach social services who will decide if you are eligible for local authority funding. If your capital is above the government threshold of £23,250, you are not entitled to financial assistance from the local authority.

If your capital is below the government threshold of £14,250, you will receive local authority funding. If your capital is between £14,250 and £23,250 then you will pay a contribution, which is based on actual income plus any assumed income from savings. A contribution rate of £1 per £250, between the lower and higher limits (Scotland and Wales vary) will apply.

In any case, the local authority will not normally pay the full room fee to Belong. Therefore a contribution would be required to make up the difference between the local authority rate and the room rate. Legally, this contribution must be paid by a third party, i.e. not the person assessed to move into the village. However, the contribution can be shared between any number of family members / other third parties.

We may be able to offer our deferred payment scheme. The scheme enables you to move into a Belong village whilst the sale of your house is progressing. You would need to pay an agreed amount towards your care; the remainder would be paid upon completion of your house sale. The deferred payment scheme is an interest free loan. However, interest may be charged after six months. Belong pays its own solicitor fees, so you would only have to pay for your own.

If you have been assessed as requiring registered nursing care that is not provided directly by the Primary Care Trust, you will receive CCG funding to cover the cost of providing a registered nurse at Belong. This element of funding is not means tested and will be paid directly to Belong and will be offset against your weekly nursing care fees.

CCG Continuing Healthcare is the name given to a package of services which is arranged and funded by the CCG for people outside hospital with ongoing health needs. You can get continuing healthcare in any setting, including your own home or in a care home. CCG continuing healthcare is free to you and is not means tested. If your overall care needs show that your primary need is a health one, you should qualify for continuing healthcare.

The primary health need is assessed by looking at all of your care needs and relating them to four key indicators:

Nature – the type of condition or treatment required and its quality and quantity

Complexity – symptoms that interact, making them difficult to manage or control

Intensity – one or more needs which are so severe that they require regular interventions

Unpredictability – unexpected changes in condition that are difficult to manage and present a risk to you or to others.

If CCG Continuing Healthcare funding is granted, an agreement will be put in place with the CCG and Belong to pay this directly to Belong.

As the payment made by CCG Continuing Healthcare funding only covers the healthcare aspect and not the level of facilities available to customers in a Belong village, we need to put in place an agreement for customers / relatives or other third parties to make additional payments in order to make up the full room fee. This allows CCG CHC customers to enjoy the more expensive accommodation and facilities than those which the CCG would normally fund for a person in receipt of Continuing Healthcare funding.

The charges apply whether the customer is present or absent from the village and whether or not the customer takes advantage of the services and facilities available.

 

This payment covers:

Village facilities accessible to residents, such as: the bistro, hair salon, exercise studio with classes and personal programmes, treatment rooms, IT suites, meeting rooms and a guest room

Bedroom size that is larger than average

En suite bathrooms fitted with wet room showers and grab rails

< > such as TV and phone points in every room, free Wifi and internet access, resident computers in every household

Additional ancillary staff throughout village

Household kitchens: a fully fitted kitchen shared between an average of 12 people and open for families to use

Family sized households providing private lounge and dining facilities for an average of just 12 residents

Balconies or gardens providing secure access to outdoor space

On site practice development facilitator to ensure the highest standards of support are delivered, shared and improved upon; this is for all staff employed in the village, not just support workers

The facilities and staffing at our Belong villages have been designed to meet the changing demands of our residents. If you are living in a Belong village and require additional support or more specialised care, we can nearly always arrange for you to receive this extra support without moving out of the village.

If your care needs change, there may be implications for funding sources or other financial implications. Financial and care needs are therefore discussed and assessed if anything happens to trigger a change in circumstances.

Immediate care insurance policies may be suitable if you are currently considering moving into a care home/village. It involves paying a lump sum at the time you decide you need care.

The cost is based on how long the insurer thinks you will need care for, and the level of care you will need. While the costs can seem a large amount, it will provide a fixed payment for as long as you need care, and can protect the rest of your assets.

Payments are tax-free if they are made directly to a care home/village and are portable if you decide to move.

All policies are different so we would suggest you speak with our customer support advisor for more information. To arrange an appointment, please contact your nearest village.

 

Please find below a list of organisations that offer advice on paying for long term care and related issues, such as benefits. They are all free to approach but you should check if there are any costs involved if you decide to use their services.

Age UK

For advice and information on a wide range of issues to make life
more enjoyable and fulfilling for older people

Freephone: 0800 169 6565  I  www.ageuk.org.uk

Assured Wealth and Estate Planning

Offering a comprehensive financial planning service for all your investment and protection needs.

Contact: Mark Jones  -  Mobile: 07912 259 928  I  Email: mark@assuredwep.co.uk

 

Department for Work and Pensions, Benefits Enquiry Line

For information on all benefits for the disabled and their carers, including
Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance

Freephone: 0800 882 200  I  www.dwp.gov.uk

Directgov

Benefits advice online - get benefits advice for you, your family
or for someone else

www.direct.gov.uk

Paying For Care

Specialist advice on paying for long-term care

Telephone: 0800 208 9994  I  www.payingforcare.co.uk

S G Holding & Partners

Specialist advice on paying for long-term care

Contact: Howard Morris – Mobile: 07973 325 469  I  Email: howard@sgholding.co.uk

 

 

 

The New Care Act is coming into force in two stages in 2015 and 2016, the main change being in 2016. See our Customer Support Advisor for more information.

Belong has used all reasonable care in compiling the content of this document but can provide no guarantee as to the accuracy of any information in this document and cannot accept liability for any errors or omissions. Belong shall not be liable to any person for any loss or damage that may arise from the use of the information contained in this document. The information contained in any such material is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional advice.