A guide to funding

Financial arrangements for moving into a care home

If you’re thinking about moving into a care home, there are some costs involved that you need to consider, as everybody has to pay towards residential care and accommodation.

To receive financial support from your local authority for accommodation and personal care, your capital (your savings and other assets) must be less than £23,250. The value of your home will also be included on the calculations, unless your partner, a relative who is over 60 or incapacitated, or a child under 16 who you or a partner have legal responsibility for still lives there.

If you capital is above £23,250, you will have to cover the cost of accommodation and personal care yourself.

The only element of care that is free of charge to everyone is nursing care. Your nursing requirements will be determined by an independent nurse who will carry out a comprehensive assessment prior to you moving to a care home, or during your stay should your need increase.

There are some funding options available:

NHS continuing healthcare

NHS continuing healthcare is a package of care arranged and funded by the NHS. It is non-means tested and to be eligible, your primary need must relate to your health and the meet the criteria set out by the NHS National Framework.

The package covers the care home fees, including the cost of accommodation, personal care and health care costs.

NHS funded nursing care

If you require nursing care from your care home, you may be eligible for NHS funded nursing care. This is non-means tested and is paid directly to the home by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The current rate is £112* a week (*July 2015).

Third party payments

Depending on the amount of funding you receive, there may be a shortfall and if this is the case, you will have to ask a family member or friend to make up the difference. This is known as a ‘third party payment’ or top-up’.

Paying for your own care

If you are paying for your own care in a care home, some forward planning and advice on the options available to you will help you make your money go further. Information can be obtained from charities, such as Age UK, or an independent financial advisor who specialises in long-term care.

Even if you are self-funding your care, it is important to have an assessment of your care needs from your local social services department, as you may miss out on financial support, such as Attendance Allowance and Pension Credit.

If you’re aged over 65 and need someone to help care for you, you may be eligible for Attendance Allowance, a non-means tested, non-taxable benefit from the Department of Work and Pensions or for Pension Credit.

Attendance Allowance is currently £55.10* a week for those needing care by day or night, and £82.30* a week for those needing care both during the day and night (*July 2015).