Paying for care homes

If your care needs assessment has identified that a care home or nursing home (residential care) is the best way to meet your needs, we may ask you to pay a contribution towards the cost.

A financial assessment will look at your money to see how much you can afford to pay towards your care each week. If this amount is not enough, you may qualify for help to pay.

You will not qualify for help to pay if:

  • the financial assessment shows you can afford to pay for all of your care
  • you choose to arrange your care privately
  • you choose not to have a financial assessment or do not give us all the information we need

You'll be offered a benefit check by a member of the Benefits Maximisation Service, who will make sure you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to.

What we look at

When we look at how much money you have, there are some things we ignore and some things we include.

  • If we ignore something, we do not expect you to use it to pay for care and will not assess it.
  • If we include it, we'll take it into account to work out how much you can afford to pay for care.

Savings and investments

This includes your bank/building society accounts, shares, premium bonds, land and property and other savings.

  • We will ignore savings of £14,250 or less.
  • We will include savings between £14,250 and £23,250 when working out what you can afford - you may still qualify for help to pay.
  • We will count savings of more than £23,250. You will be asked to pay the full cost of your care and will not be eligible to any financial support until it falls below £23,250.

If you are expected to pay the full cost of your care, you may be eligible for a deferred payment agreement.

Income, including pensions and benefits

We ignore earnings and some pensions (such as war related pensions), but count other pensions (such as state or private pensions). During your financial assessment we will look at everything and tell you what income is ignored and counted.

You're allowed to keep a fixed amount of income for personal expenses. The government decides what that amount is each year and is currently set at £24.90 per week.


If the only property you own is your main home, we ignore its value if you:

  • are in a care home temporarily
  • are moving to a care home permanently but your partner lives in the property

There may be other reasons when we ignore the value of your home depending on your circumstances. We will discuss this during your financial assessment.

If the value of your home is included, but you do not want to sell it you should get independent financial advice. 

A deferred payment agreement is another option if you do not wish to sell your home yet.

If you think you are going to have support needs, the law says you must not give away your money or property to avoid or reduce paying for care. If we think you have done this, it will still be counted in your financial assessment.

If you are a self-funder (paying for your own care) with savings over £23,250 you will need to make arrangements to pay the care home directly. A private arrangement between you and the care home means that the weekly rate will be different to the council contracted rate.

Care home top-up fees

If we are funding your care home place, we will allocate an amount of money to meet your  needs following the financial assessment.

If you choose a home that is more expensive than the amount we can fund, you can still move there as long as someone, such as another family member agrees to pay the difference or the ‘top-up fee’.

Third-party contributions can also cover other charges that are at the home's discretion.