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Funding Your Care

Choosing the right care home and financial support for our loved ones is one of the biggest decisions we have to make. A recent report has found that a record 57% of elderly people in care now pay in full or contribute towards their own care costs* and this figure is set to steadily rise. More than ever before, elderly people are now under extreme pressure to raise large sums of money themselves or rely on their friends and families to do so, which is why it is so important not to delay in getting the right financial plan in place. is here to help you understand the differences between self-funding and local authority funding so you can be sure to secure the best option for your loved one.


If your loved one is funding their own care, there may be other forms of financial assistance they could be entitled to.

The council will assist with care home fees in accordance to the guidelines below for the first twelve weeks if, excluding the person’s property, their capital is below £23,250. Any financial support beyond this twelve week period will be charged against their former home and recovered from the eventual sale proceeds.

No, the social services can lend them the money for care costs charged against the value of the property. However, the amount they will lend may be limited and could adversely affect welfare benefit entitlements.

No, once they are living in a care home they should receive full council tax exemption until the property is sold.

There are several non-means tested benefits that a person needing care may be entitled to:

  • Attendance Allowance is provided by the Department of Work and Pensions at the lower rate of £54.45 per week for care by day or night, or at the higher rate of £81.30 per week if care is required both day and night. However, for a person living in Scotland and receiving a Personal Care Contribution, entitlement to Attendance Allowance ceases.
  • NHS Nursing Care Contribution pays £110.89 per week towards costs for those living in a care home that provides their nursing care. Please note that this applies to England only. In Wales the contribution is £138.61 per week, in Northern Ireland the rate is £100, and in Scotland a Personal Care Contribution of £179 is paid and a Nursing Care Contribution of £77 per week.
  • NHS Continuing Care Funding is for those whose care needs are primarily for healthcare. Under this scheme, they may be entitled to full care costs from their local Primary Care Trust following continuing eligibility assessments.

If there is a chance that your loved one will run out of funds to support their care home costs, it is vital that this possibility is prepared for from the outset. Ensure that your loved one has a care needs assessment in order for the local authority to accept that they need to live in a care home and the council will then help fund the care costs should self-funding resources run out. However, the local authority’s guidelines must be adhered to, so if the care home your loved one lives in costs more than their allowance then a family member or friend will be required to ‘top up’ the state funded allowance or else the elderly person will have to move into a more affordable care home.

This can be prevented with an immediate or deferred care fees annuity that can be set up to provide a guaranteed income to cover care costs. is a great resource to help you find the right insurance plan for your loved one.

Local Authority Funded

If a person has been assessed as needing a care home place and their capital is below £23,250 then they should be entitled to financial support from the local authority.

If their capital is below £14,250, then they will be entitled to the maximum support although they will be required to contribute their income (pension etc.) minus £22.30 per week for personal expenses. If a person’s capital is between £14,250 and £23,250, they will contribute £1 per week for every £250 of capital between these figures.

Yes, it is your loved one’s choice where they wish to live. The chosen home must be suitable for their assessed needs, comply with the council’s terms and conditions and should not cost more than they would usually pay for a person with those assessed needs.

The council will allow a third party such as a family member or friend to ‘top up’ the fees if that person can prove they possess the funds to cover their loved one’s stay.

Only the partner needing care should be means tested. Property occupied by a partner is disregarded, and if you are married, only 50% of your loved one’s pension is taken in to account.

If you share a joint savings account, the council will acknowledge 50% in regards to the claim, thus it is advisable to separate your money in to single accounts so as not to hinder your partner’s claim.