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Paying your residential care or nursing home fees

You will have to contribute towards your residential care or nursing home fees. Your local Health and Social Care Trust will work out how much you have to pay through a financial assessment.

Your financial assessment

Before you move into a home, you'll have a financial assessment, with your HSC Trust, looking at your income and capital to calculate how much you have to pay towards your home fees.

Examples of income include:

  • interest on your savings
  • private and/or State Pension
  • some benefits like Pension Credit, Attendance Allowance or the care component of Disability Living Allowance

Your capital might include:

  • savings
  • investments
  • any property you might own (like your own home or holiday home, for example)

Before your financial assessment, make sure you're getting all the benefits you're entitled to.

This is important because your contribution to your home fees will be based on all income including benefits.

No matter how much you have to pay towards your home fees, you must be left with £24.40 a week to spend as you choose.

If you get the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance, you will keep getting it.

You'll also get up to £5.75 per week of any savings credit if you are over 65.

Capital and the value of your home

If you have over £23,250 in capital you will be assessed as being able to meet the full cost of your care.

Your capital will be assessed according to the information in the following table:

Amount of capital you have How your capital is used to calculate your contribution to your care home fees
Over £23,250 You will be assessed as being able to meet the full cost of your care
Between £14,250 and £23,250 Capital between these amounts will be calculated as providing you with an income of £1 per week for every £250 of your savings
£14,250 or under Your capital will be ignored in calculating how much you have to contribute to the cost of your care

If you own your home then it will usually be counted as capital 12 weeks after you move permanently into a care home.

The value of your own home will not be counted as capital if certain close relatives still live there.

Getting your needs assessed

You will have a needs assessment before a financial assessment.

Your local Trust will be able to tell you how much they usually pay for a residential care or nursing home that will meet your needs and then arrange a suitable residential care or nursing home for you.

Or, you can choose one yourself that charges the same sort of price.

This is important if you are paying your own fees to start with but think you might need to ask your local trust for help later on.

What if you want to move into a more expensive residential care or nursing home?

You can choose a home that is more expensive than your local Trust usually pays for a person with your assessed needs, but you may need to find a way to pay the difference.

If the Trust can suggest a place that meets your needs and you still want to move into a more expensive home then you can ask a third party (usually a relative or friend) to pay the extra. This is called a 'third party contribution'.

You will not be able to pay this yourself as you will have been financially assessed to pay what you can afford.

If your local Trust cannot suggest a place that meets your needs in your local area, it is required to pay more than its usual amount.

HSC contribution toward the cost of nursing provided in nursing homes

If you live in a nursing home and have assessed nursing needs, your local Trust will pay £100 per week towards the fees to cover the cost of the nursing element.

If your assessment indicates that your primary need is for health care, your Trust will pay the full cost of your care. This is called 'continuing health care'.

Hospital staff, your local doctor (GP) or social worker can help arrange an assessment if you think you qualify. You can also download the information booklet providing advice on who is eligible for HSC Payments for Nursing Care and how to apply if you think you are eligible.  

If you disagree with the decision made after your assessment you can ask for your case to be reconsidered or make a complaint to your local Trust.

Direct payments

Direct payments from your local Trust are intended to support adults in independent living and are not intended to finance permanent residential care.

However, you may be able to use direct payments to secure occasional short periods, (usually not more than four weeks) in residential accommodation, if your local Trust agrees that is what is needed.

If you are living in a residential care or nursing home

In some situations, people who are living in residential care can have temporary access to direct payments.

For example, this could enable you to try out independent living arrangements before deciding to move out of residential care.

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