Paying your residential care or nursing home fees

The local Health and Social Care (HSC) Trust works out how much you need to pay for your residential care or nursing home fees.

Your financial assessment

Before you move into a home, the Trust assesses your finances. They look at your income and capital to calculate how much you must pay.

Examples of income include:

  • interest on your savings
  • private or State Pension or both
  • Pension Credit, Attendance Allowance or the care component of Disability Living Allowance

Your capital might include:

  • savings
  • investments
  • any property you own (like your own home or a holiday home)

Before your financial assessment, make sure you get 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.

When you pay towards your home fees, you must have £26.33 remaining a week to spend as you want. This is known as the Personal Expenses Allowance (PEA). If you get the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance, you will keep getting it.

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

Capital and the value of your home

If you have over £23,250 in capital, the Trust assesses you as able to pay for all your care.

They assess your capital according to information shown in table below:

Capital you have How your capital is used to calculate your contribution to your care home fees
Over £23,250 You're assessed as able to pay for all 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 pay towards your care

If you own your home, it counts as capital 12 weeks after you move permanently into a care home.

The value of your own home doesn't count as capital if certain close relatives still live there.

Getting your needs assessed

You will have a needs assessment before a financial assessment.

The local Trust will tell you how much they usually pay for a residential care or nursing home that will meet your needs. They will arrange a suitable residential care or nursing home for you.

You can choose a home that charges the same price. This is important if you are paying your own fees but think you might need to ask your local Trust for help later.

Moving 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 need to pay the difference.

If the Trust can suggest a place that meets your needs but you want to move into a more expensive home, you can ask 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 the local Trust cannot suggest a place that meets your needs in your area, they must pay more than their usual amount towards your care. 

HSC contribution towards nursing costs in nursing homes

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

If your assessment indicates that your primary need is for health care, your Trust will pay for all 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 about Health and Social Care payments for nursing care.

If you disagree with the decision made after your assessment, you can:

  • ask for your case to be reconsidered
  • complaint to your local Trust

Direct payments

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

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.

If you live in a residential care or nursing home

Some people who live in residential care have temporary access to direct payments.

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

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