Paying for your care
If your council agree that you need to receive care in a care home and you have savings or property over the ‘upper capital threshold’ (currently £23,250) you will be expected to pay the full cost of your care home fees.
Whilst your capital is between £23,250 and £14,250 you will be asked to make a contribution towards the costs of your care.
Capital below £14,250 is not taken into account but your level of income from investments, pensions, or state benefits will be considered.
If you are paying the full cost of your care but your funds are approaching £23,250 you can apply for financial assistance from the council towards the cost of your care home placement. You should inform the council where the care home is situated at least two months before your savings drop to £23,250 (it is useful to keep a record of the date you did this). The council should then arrange to assess your needs to determine whether they agree that the care home you are in is appropriate for your needs. If they do not agree, you may have to move to a setting that they assess as appropriate for your needs.
The cost of the care home will also have an impact on whether social services view your choice of care home to be appropriate. If the care home you have chosen costs more than the local council will usually pay for someone with your individual assessed needs, they may ask you to move to a less expensive home or ask you to arrange for a third party to meet the shortfall.
It is therefore very important, if you think that your savings will reach the £23,250 threshold at some point, to consider moving into a care home that will accept the local council’s ‘usual rate’ as this will then mean that if your capital reduces and you need financial support from the council, you are already living in a care home that they will consider paying for.
Help to pay for your care home fees
There are a number of sources of funding that may help you to meet the cost of your care:
This is a non-means tested, non-taxable benefit from the Department for Work and Pensions. As it is non-means tested you can carry on claiming this whilst you are in a care home and use it to contribute to the cost of your care if you are self-funding your care, if you are subject to the 12 Week Disregard or a Deferred Payment Arrangement (see details below), or if you are in a nursing home receiving NHS funded nursing care (see details below).
If the local authority is paying for your care then your entitlement to Attendance Allowance (AA) will cease 4 weeks after you move into a care home as the local authority has taken over payment for your care needs. However AA can be paid for any day or period that you spend not staying in the care home: e.g. if you return home or stay with relatives for a weekend or take a short break or holiday, so it is worth your while applying for AA just to establish your entitlement to the benefit.
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
DLA – care component or PIP – daily living component will also continue to be paid if you are aged under 65, self-funding your care home fees, in a nursing home receiving NHS funded nursing care, or are subject to a 12 Week Disregard or Deferred Payment Arrangement. If the local authority are funding your care these benefits will cease 4 weeks after you move into a care home. For more information about whether you are eligible for Attendance Allowance please see Help and Care Factsheet 13 ‘Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment’. For details of how to obtain this Factsheet please see ‘Further Information’ section.
Funded Nursing Care
Whether you are a temporary or permanent resident, if you live in a ‘care home with nursing’ you may be entitled to a non-means tested NHS Nursing Care Contribution towards the cost of your nursing care (currently £109.79 per week). The care home will receive this payment from the NHS each week to pay for your nursing needs. This payment reduces the overall care home fee. For more information about whether you are eligible for Funded Nursing Care please contact your local Clinical Commissioning Group. For contact details please see ‘Further Information’ section.
Continuing Healthcare (CHC)
Some people with very complex health needs are entitled to have their care home fees paid for in full by the NHS. This is known as NHS Continuing Healthcare funding. For more information about whether you could be eligible for CHC please contact your local Continuing Healthcare Team. For contact details please see ‘Further Information’ section.