However, changes are regularly being made to the system and we may not have the most up-to-date information on this website.
If you have specific questions or needs or just need guidance, please do not hesitate to contact us - we would be happy to help
There was a time when we thought the state would look after us 'from cradle to grave'.
These days, the state still provides a level of care for the least well off. But if the state
thinks you can afford to pay, you will have to pay at least some of the costs of
accommodation and personal costs in a residential nursing home.
Briefly, there are three bands of support:
Your local authority may pay for the cost of your residential or nursing home care if
your capital is less than £12,750.
Your local authority will still pay for your accommodation and personal care, but
not fully, if your capital is between England £12,750 -£21,000. For every £250
you have over the lower amount, they will subtract £1 per week from the money
You will have to pay the full costs of your accommodation and personal care if your
capital is over England £21,000, Wales £21,500, Scotland £20,000
If your capital falls below the upper amount while you are in a care home, you will
become eligible for help from the local authority.
If you want a more expensive home than the authority is willing to pay for, you are
allowed to arrange a 'third party contribution' from another source.
Your home would be included in your assets only if you live alone, or you are both
moving into a care home. In addition, the local authority will disregard the value of
your home for 12 weeks after your admission to permanent nursing or residential
care. You will be expected to use all your income - including your pension, benefits,
and so on - to fund your care. However, you can keep £19.60 (£20.00 in Wales)
a week spending money.
Even if you are paying all your own fees, the NHS now makes a contribution to your
nursing costs. Nursing care is defined as the care you are assessed as needing from a
In England the NHS will pay a contribution towards the nursing part of your care that
they determine needs to be provided by a registered nurse in a nursing home. From 1
April 2006 the payment will be £40, £83, or £133 per week, depending on whether
your nursing needs are assessed as low, medium or high. This contribution applies
whether your care is funded privately or by the local authority. If you are paying your
own fees, you will still have to pay for accommodation and personal care (such as help
with dressing or bathing).
Paying for care is a complex subject, and everyone's situation is different. You should
seek advice about your own case. Among the organisations offering specialist advice are:
Many people are hesitant about applying for benefits, but if you want to remain in your
own home, they can be extremely useful to you and your carers. For example,
Attendance Allowance does not depend on your savings or income, and could enable you
to contribute to the petrol costs of a neighbour who does your shopping, or pay for a
home help to do the tasks you can no longer manage. There are also benefits for people
under 65, and for carers. For example, Invalid Care Allowance is for people unable to
work because they are caring for someone.
Everyone's situation is different, and you should get advice. Try Age Concern (0808
808 6060), Help the Aged (0800 800 6565) or the Benefits Agency (0800 882
200, or in your local phone book).