There are three main sources of funding for paying care home fees.
If you are self-funding then you can choose to live at any home you wish that you can afford.
If you are Local Authority funded your choice of home will be restricted as local authorities set a maximum weekly fee they will pay. The level is set by each local authority.
You are responsible for paying all the care home charges.
However, you may be eligible for some financial assistance - Attendance Allowance and NHS-funded nursing care. See below for further information.
Your Local Authority will pay care home costs if you met the financial criteria.
A financial assessment is undertaken to calculate how much you need to pay towards the cost of your care in a care home by looking at your income, savings and capital and will also provide advice on welfare benefits which you may be entitled to.
Your income and any savings or capital you have will still be taken into account. Savings thresholds for local authority funding in England for 2021/22: Lower threshold £14,250 and upper threshold is £23,250
If you expect to require Local Authority funded care then contact your Local Authority Social Care department as soon as possible.
The cost of a care home can vary from home to home. Your Local Authority has a “usual rate” that they are prepared to pay.
NHS continuing healthcare is the name given to a package of care that is arranged and funded solely by the NHS for individuals who are not in hospital and have been assessed as having a “primary health need”.
If you are eligible, you can receive NHS continuing healthcare in a care home. As well as healthcare and personal care, the NHS will pay for your care home fees, including board and accommodation.
NHS continuing healthcare is free, unlike social and community care services provided by local authorities. It is not means-tested and is paid regardless of your financial situation.
To be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare you must be over 18 and have substantial and ongoing care needs. You must have been assessed as having a “primary health need”, which means that your main or primary need for care must relate to your health.
Eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare does not depend on a specific health condition, illness or diagnosis, who provides the care, or where the care is provided.
If you have a disability or if you have been diagnosed with a long-term illness or condition, this does not necessarily mean that you will be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare.
To find out whether you are eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, your care needs will be assessed. Your Local Authority Adult Social Care team can assist with explaining the process.
There are two national funding contribution sources that pay a set weekly amount to assist in paying care costs.
There are rules for eligibility for both.
Attendance Allowance is a benefit that helps with the extra costs of long-term illness or disability, which can be either physical and/or mental. It is for people aged 65 and over.
There are two rates of Attendance Allowance. For 2021/22 these rates are:
You will be paid the higher rate of Attendance Allowance if you meet one of the following criteria:
You will be paid the lower rate of Attendance Allowance if:
Attendance Allowance can be paid if you need help with your personal care or someone to check that you are ok.
To satisfy the daytime test you need to show that you reasonably need either one of the following:
To satisfy the night-time test you need to show that you reasonably need either one of the following:
Personal care needs include help with things such as:
To qualify as needing supervision you must need someone to check on you regularly during the day. The checks must be to avoid a ‘substantial danger’ to yourself or others due to your disability.
For example, you may need such checks if you have memory loss, are in danger of falling, have poor awareness of potential dangers, or have serious behavioural problems.
Substantial danger may include situations such as falling, self-harm, violence towards others or a serious risk to your health should you be left unsupervised.
If you self-fund your care home fees then Attendance Allowance continues to be paid in full.
If your residential care is funded by the local authority or the NHS (Continuing Healthcare) then Attendance Allowance is not paid.
NHS-funded nursing care is care provided by a registered nurse for people who live in a care home. The NHS will pay a flat rate contribution directly to the care home towards the cost of this registered nursing care.
You may be eligible for NHS-funded nursing care if:
You should be assessed for NHS continuing healthcare before a decision is made about whether you are eligible for NHS-funded nursing care.
Most people do not need a separate assessment for NHS-funded nursing care. However, if you do need an assessment or you have not already had one, your clinical commissioning group (CCG) can arrange an assessment for you.
If you are eligible for NHS-funded nursing care, the NHS will arrange and fund nursing care provided by registered nurses employed by the care home.
NHS-funded nursing care is paid at the same rate across England. For 2021/22, the rate is £187.60 a week.
Going into a care home is a major commitment for your future – it involves potentially committing to paying a considerable amount of money for your ongoing accommodation and care needs.
Seek advice on funding options. Do not assume that you will have to pay; or that someone else will pay.
People who can help.
Your Local Authority can also assist in navigating the options open to you. Please contact Head Office.