Paying for residential or nursing home care

If you are considering moving into permanent residential care, you may be entitled to financial assistance and support, subject to assessments of your needs and your finances.

How we assess your capital and savings

If your capital and savings is in excess of £23,250 you need to have a care assessment to define your strengths and abilities and identify your care needs. Whichever homes you consider must be able to meet your assessed care needs.

If your capital and savings is below £23,250 and you have eligible needs, the Council will contribute financially towards the cost of your assessed care needs. You must have a financial assessment to work out how much you will pay.

If you do not give us information about your financial circumstances, you must pay the full cost of your care.

Your choice of care home will be limited to those that accept the Council's funding level. More expensive homes will expect you to arrange for a third party to ‘top-up’ the difference. You are not allowed to do this yourself if your capital is below £23,250. The only exception is when your placement is for a 12 week property disregard or for a deferred payment.

If your capital is less than £14,250 and the home you choose charges fees that are within the Council's funding rate, your contribution will be assessed on your income only.

With capital between £14,250 and £23,250, as well has having your contribution based on your income, you will also expected to contribute £1 per week for every £250 you have above £14,250.

Will I have to sell my house?

If you have moved into a care home permanently and you own your former home, its value will be included as capital in your financial assessment unless one of the following still lives there:

  • Your partner, former partner or civil partner, except where you are estranged continues to live there
  • A lone parent who is your estranged or divorced partner continues to live there
  • An eligible relative aged 60 or over continues to live there
  • An eligible relative who is incapacitated continues to live there
  • Your child under 18 continues to live there
  • Other special circumstances 

Twelve-week property disregard 

If your former home is included in your financial assessment and your other capital is less than £23,250, and your income is not enough to meet your care home fees, the Council will help with the cost during the first twelve weeks of permanent care provided they agree that care is needed. Your assessed contribution during this 12 week period will be calculated on your income and remaining capital.

Deferred payment agreement

A deferred payment agreement is an arrangement with the Council that will enable you to use the value of your home to help pay care home costs.

After the twelve-week property disregard period, any financial help from the Council will be charged against the value of your home and recovered once your house has been sold.

A deferred payment agreement allows a person to defer or delay paying for the costs of their care until a later date. The payment for care and support is deferred and not ‘written off’ and will have to be repaid by the individual (or a third party on their behalf) at a later date. Deferring payment can help people to delay the need to sell their home; it can provide additional flexibility for when and how someone pays for their care and support.

Attendance Allowance

This is a non-means-tested, non-taxable benefit from the DWP paid at the lower rate for those needing care by day or night, and at the higher rate for those needing care both during the day and night.

NHS Funded Nursing Care

Whether you are a temporary or permanent resident, if you live in a care home that provides nursing care you may be entitled to a non-means tested NHS Funded Nursing Care towards the cost of your nursing care following an assessment with a health or social care professional. This is paid directly to the home.

NHS Continuing Care Funding

You can receive continuing healthcare services in any setting, including your own home or in a care home. The NHS will pay if you are assessed as eligible for NHS Continuing Care Funding and need healthcare from a community nurse or a therapist.

If, following assessment, you are eligible and live in a care home with nursing, you may qualify for the full cost of your care home fees, including board and accommodation, under the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare. If you live in a residential home, and need help from a registered nurse, this will be free and covered by the NHS.

Changes to your financial circumstances

Your finances will be regularly reviewed. However, if the amount of your income or capital significantly increases or decreases during the year, you must tell us as soon as possible. If your capital is likely to reduce to £23,250, you must let us know well in advance as we may step in to help with your care fees. The Council must conduct an assessment of your situation and may make a contribution to your care fees.

If the home you have chosen charges more than this, you must find someone to help pay the difference. This is called a ‘top-up’ payment. Whoever does this, whether family or a benevolent charity, they should realise that they may have to pay this for some time. Alternatively, you would have to find a cheaper home.

Understanding your rights before moving into care is essential. There are a number of financial products and specialist companies who may be able to help. It is important to seek advice before committing yourself.

Third party contributions (Top-up payments)

If the care home you choose costs more than the rate the Council usually pays for a person with your needs, someone will have to make up the difference. This extra payment is often referred to as a ‘top-up’ or ‘third party top-up’.

Except in limited circumstances, the law states that you are not allowed to make this additional payment yourself. The responsibility for this often falls to a member of your family or a benevolent sponsor such as a charity. Once this person or organisation has been confirmed, they must sign an agreement formalising the arrangement.

As the financing of care is a complex area, you are advised to contact us to ask for specific advice and individual guidance.

Deprivation of assets

If you give away your money, savings or other assets before you go into a care home or when you are already living in one, we must investigate the circumstances very closely. If you sell an asset at less than its true market value, we must investigate this too. If deprivation is found to have occurred it may mean the Council treat you has still having the asset you gave away.

Key information

Whatever your circumstances:

  • Your assessment will be made up of two elements, a care part and a financial one.
  • A nursing home will generally be more expensive than a residential home offering personal care only.
  • If your partner still lives at home, they will not be means-tested. 
  • If you receive an occupational pension(s) and you have a spouse still living at home we will only take 50% of your occupational pension(s) into account.

Benefits

You may wish to consider claiming the following benefits:

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