Principles of the 12 Week Property Disregard

Often elderly people find themselves being admitted into residential care as a result of a crisis, for example being released from hospital after and illness or accident or with mental capacity issues that may have resulted in wanderings.

Because there is sometimes little warning that an event like this is going to happen, their family is often thrown in at the deep end when gathering information about the provision of care. It is vitally important to know the welfare benefits that your loved ones could be entitled to as this can have a major impact on the overall cost of paying for care required.

During the first 12 weeks of being admitted into residential care the value of the individuals property will be disregarded from the means test. This was introduced to allow a decision to be made as to whether the property would be sold and to allow the elderly person to settle into the home before they had to sell their home to pay for their care. Details of the 12 week property disregard can be found in CRAG which stands for the Caring for Residential Accommodation Guide and helps understand the prinicples of the 12 week property disregard.

The first step in the process is that your local authority will arrange for a care assessment to be carried out this will give a clear plan of the care that is required. Once the care plan has been established a financial assessment will be done to determine who will pay for the residential care.

It should be noted that if the individual were to leave care before the end of the 12-week disregard period but return to care within 52 weeks they can claim the unused weeks. If the gap is greater than 52 weeks they can claim a further 12 week period.

Should the sale of the property occur before the end of the 12 weeks the disregard will end on the day the sale has completed.

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Long Term care advice is also available from Independent Financial Advisers such as these:

SOLLA • Society of Later Life Advisers
Information on NHS Care
Carers UK