Care home

1. A care home is a place where personal care and accommodation are provided together.1NHS Business Definitions – Care Home

2. People may live in a care home for short or long periods. For many people, it is their sole place of residence and so it becomes their home, although they do not legally own or rent it.

3. There are two types of care home:

  1. Care home without nursing (residential care home);
  2. Care home with nursing (nursing home).

Care homes for HB purposes

4. For HB purposes a “care home” is separately defined as:2The Housing Benefit Regulations 2006/213 reg 2(1) def: “care home“; The Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for state pension credit) Regulations 2006/214 reg 2(1) def: “care home“; Universal Credit Regulations 2013/376, sch 1, para 1 def: “care home

  1. a “care home” in England;3Care Standards Act 2000 s 3 
  2. a “care home service” in Wales, which is provided wholly or mainly to persons aged 18 or over;4Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016 part 1 and
  3. a “care home service” in Scotland.5Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 sch 12 para 2

In England 

5. In England an establishment is a “care home” if it provides accommodation, together with nursing or personal care, for any of the following persons (unless excluded by relevant law):6Care Standards Act 2000 s 3(1)-(2) 

  1. persons who are or have been ill;
  2. persons who have or have had a mental disorder;
  3. persons who are disabled or infirm; or
  4. persons who are or have been dependent on alcohol or drugs.

6. Accommodation is not a care home unless the care which it provides includes required assistance with bodily functions.7Care Standards Act 2000 s 121(9), 3(1)-(2)

In Wales

7. In Wales a “care home service” is the provision of accommodation, together with nursing or care at a place in Wales to persons because of their vulnerability or need.8Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016 s 2(1)(a), (2); sch 1 para 1(1)

In Scotland

8. In Scotland a “care home service” is a service which provides accommodation, together with nursing, personal care or personal support, for persons by reason of their vulnerability or need; but the expression does not include:9Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 sch 12 para 2

  1. a hospital;
  2. a public, independent or grant-aided school; or
  3. a service excepted from this definition by regulations.

Regulation of care homes

9. Care homes, as defined in the relevant legislation, are regulated by:

  1. the Care Quality Commission (in England);
  2. the Care Inspectorate Wales; and
  3. the Care Inspectorate Scotland.

Care homes and benefit entitlement

10. People who are liable to make payments in respect of a care home are not normally eligible for HB. This applies to individuals of working age or pension age.10The Housing Benefit Regulations 2006/213 reg 9(1)(k); 9(4)(a); The Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for state pension credit) Regulations 2006/214 reg 9(1)(k); 9(4)(a)

11. For UC claimants payments in respect of a care home are excluded from being rent payments for UC calculation purposes.11Universal Credit Regulations 2013/376, sch 1, para 3(d)

12. In the first instance the distinction between a “care home” and “exempt accommodation” for HB purposes may be difficult to determine for individuals with high care needs. 

13. For a benefit decision-maker it is normally whether or not the accommodation is registered that determines the matter.

Categories: Care homes, Taxonomy
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