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Funding care in a care home

If you have to move into a care home, you may qualify for financial help. If you have to pay some or all of the costs of your care in a care home, there are various ways to pay. You won't have to sell your home in your lifetime to pay for your care.

Who pays for a care home

You may have to pay towards your care if you move into a care home. How much you have to pay will depend on your income, savings and some of the things you own.


If you have more than £23,250 in savings and assets, you’ll have to pay the full cost of care in a care home.

Financial assessment

When we have agreed with you what you need from a care home, we will do a financial assessment to work out what you can afford to pay towards the cost of your care.

We will look at your income, savings and assets (eg buildings, stocks and shares that you own).

After we’ve done the assessment we will:

  • tell you whether you need to pay for all or some of the costs of your care
  • tell you whether you qualify for the deferred payment scheme

You can get independent financial advice and someone to help you during your assessment.

Savings and assets limits

If you have more than £23,250 in savings and assets, you’ll have to pay the full care home costs.

If you have less than £14,250 in savings and assets, we won’t count them when we work out how much you have to pay.

If you have savings and assets between £14,250 and £23,250, we will assume you can pay on a weekly basis, £1 towards your care for every £250 you have in savings and assets between £14,250 and £23,250.

Which savings and assets count towards the limits

Savings and assets that count towards the limits include:

  • money you have in bank and building society accounts
  • National Savings Certificates
  • Premium Bonds
  • stocks and shares
  • buildings or land you own
  • trust funds (unless they were awarded for personal injury or criminal injuries  compensation)

Savings and assets that don’t count towards the limits include:

  • your personal possessions
  • the surrender value of any life insurance or annuity

Your home

Your home won’t count as an asset if any of these people are still living in it:

  • your husband, wife or civil partner
  • a single parent who you've separated from or divorced
  • children under 18 years old who are dependent on you - including adopted, fostered and step children
  • any relative aged 60 or over
  • any relative who is disabled and qualifies for disability benefits

Income limits

When we work out what your income is, we don’t include:

  • earnings from your job – including bonuses and commission
  • self-employed earnings
  • mobility part of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • mobility part of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Child Benefit
  • child maintenance payments
  • Guardian’s Allowance
  • Council Tax Reduction

We do include:

  • State Pension and Pension Credit
  • Income from a personal or occupational pension
  • Working Tax Credit
  • the care part of DLA
  • the daily living part of PIP
  • Attendance Allowance
  • most benefits

We will tell you what income we have included in your financial assessment when we have done the assessment.

Personal expenses allowance

The law says that when we work out what you should pay towards the cost of your care home, we must leave you with a minimum amount of income to spend on things like clothes, toiletries and presents. This is known as the ‘personal expenses allowance’ (PEA). The amount isn’t fixed - the government tells us every year how much the PEA should be.

We will include anything above this amount in our calculations of what you should pay.

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