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Frequently Asked Questions


Very broadly speaking, if you have assets above £23,250 then you will be classed as a self-funder, which means that you will have to cover any care costs in full yourself.

If you own a home, this should be considered as part of your capital except for in certain situations in which someone will continue to live in the home.

It is possible that you might be eligible for other benefits from the NHS. Unlike social services benefits which are means tested, the NHS services are free of charge. You may be entitled to these non-means tested benefits regardless of your savings or income. These include:

  • NHS Nursing Care Contribution is available to anyone living in a care home that is registered to provide nursing care. The care is provided by a registered nurse and paid for by the NHS.
  • NHS Continuing Care Funding is available for those who are not in hospital but have complex ongoing healthcare needs. This is regardless of setting and is available to anyone who is over the age of 18 that has a complex medical condition that requires ongoing care needs.
Contact your local authority to be assessed for these benefits.

The very first step to qualifying for local authority funding is to schedule a “Community Care Assessment (CCA)” with your local GP or council. The local authority uses the CCA to determine the care needs of the individual, and whether or not the care funding will be provided for.

After the completion of a Community Care Assessment with social services, the next step is for your local authority to assess your personal finances in order to determine how much of your care costs they will pay for. This is called a “Financial Assessment” and is based on the care needs determined by the CCA.

Even though the local authority may be funding your accommodation, you still have the right by law to choose where you live. You might already have a care home in mind, or you may not like the care home your local council suggests to you.

As long as the local authority determines the home is suitable to care for your assessed needs, you have the right to live in your preferred care home. If the home you choose costs more than the local council would normally pay based on your needs, then a “Third-Party Top-up” payment might be needed.

If the care home you’ve chosen is more expensive than what the local authority has allotted, a third-party can “top-up” the fees so long as they can show that they are able to do so over the long-term. Third-party top-ups can be done by relatives, friends or charities.

If you’re paying for your own care and your money runs out, your Local Authority has an obligation to fund your care as long as you meet their eligibility requirements. However, if your care home costs are more than the Local Authority would normally pay, a family member might be asked to make up the difference using a third-party top-up. You might also be asked to move into another care home if a third-party top-up is not possible.

Make sure to read your care home contract carefully and pay special attention to what happens if the private fee rate can no longer be paid.

You do not necessarily have to sell your home. Your home will not be taken into consideration when determining your capital if someone will continue to live in the house that is:

  • Your spouse or partner
  • A relative aged 60 or over
  • An incapacitated relative
  • A child under 16 who you are responsible for
For further information about your rights to keep the home, we recommend you to contact our partner Financial Advisor (next section).

Elderly-Care-Helpline partners with a leading Financial Advisory Firm with 15 years’ experience in care home fees planning advice. Their advisors are CF8-qualified, SOLLA accredited and help advise hundreds of people every year on the various options for paying for care, including detailed guidance on the best way to structure a care fees annuity and advice on what to do with a property.