Paying for residential care

Will there be a charge?

Everyone in a residential or nursing home has to pay an amount of money towards the cost of their care. Some people will pay all the cost and other people may pay part of the cost with the council paying the rest.

Can I get help with the cost?

Information and guidance on support available for people to pay for care can be obtained from talking to the adult services access point or Financial Support Services. They can be contacted on:

  • Independence Advice Hub 01274 435400 
  • Financial Support Services 01274 432951  

About paying for residential care

The Council has a responsibility to work out what a persons care and support needs are and to provide them with the necessary care. People may have to pay for the care they get. This depends on different factors including how much money they a person has.

The Council assesses people individually, whether they have a partner or not and everyone in a residential home has to pay something towards their care.

How much will I have to pay?

The amount a person will pay depends on:

  • income for example, a pension 
  • any savings a person has 
  • the type of care and support a person is receiving

Because of this, the Council needs to know about all the money you have coming in. This includes Retirement Pension, Superannuation, War Pension and any other income. "Savings" may include the value of your own home. This is explained below.

Will I have to give all my income to pay for care?

No. You will be able to keep an amount, called your Personal Allowance. The amount of this is set by the Government each year. From April 2024 the personal allowance is £30.15 a week.

What about my savings?

If your savings are:

  • less than £14,250 - you will not have to pay anything from your savings 
  • more than £14,250 but below £23,250 - you will be charged £1 per week for every £250 or part of £250 over £14,250 (for example, if you have £15,000 saved you will be expected to pay £4 a week from your savings) 
  • Over £23,250 - you will have to pay the full cost of your care. However, if you savings are likely to fall to this level, we strongly advise that you contact us at least 3 months in advance so that we can talk with you about how we may be able to help

Will I get any help with paying for my care?

Dependent on financial circumstances extra help may be available through benefits such as Income Support or Pension Credit. The Council will include this in the income a person has when they decide how much should be paid.

The Council has set a top limit on the fees it will pay.

Individual residential or care homes may charge more than this. If you decide you want to live in a home that is more expensive than the Council's limit, then you will have to arrange for someone else to pay the extra. This will be explained by your worker.

Do I still have to pay if I'm on holiday or in hospital?

Yes, if you go on holiday your place in the home still has to be paid for. If you go into hospital, the home has to be paid for up to 6 weeks. If you're in hospital for more than 6 weeks, different arrangements may apply.

Will my house be taken away?

No. The value of your home may be used in working out how much has to be paid for care in a residential or nursing home. The Council will not force a person to sell their house to pay for care. If the value of the house is included in working out charges for care, a Deferred Payment Agreement will be offered.

The value of a house will not be counted in the following situations:

  • you are not going into residential care permanently 
  • your husband or wife lives there 
  • a relative aged over 60 lives there 
  • a child aged under 16, who you are responsible for, lives there 
  • a disabled relative lives there 
  • a long term carer lives there

If the situation changes you must let the Council know when this happens. They may then include the value of your house, when they work out how much you have to pay. You can discuss this with your worker, or read the documents on this page.

Deprivation of Assets

It is against the law to dispose of your house or any other asset to avoid or reduce your contribution towards the cost of your care, which could mean you may be expected to pay the full cost of your care. To understand more about what Deprivation of Assets means, information is available in the related links section on this page.

Do I have to give my financial details?

You don't have to provide any details of your income or savings if you don't want to, but if you don't you will have to pay the full cost of your care.

Guidance for placements into residential or nursing homes – Personal Choice Contributions (Third Party Top Ups)

This guidance (PDF) outlines the care fee ‘top-up’ arrangements for a person receiving care and support in a Registered residential or nursing care home. This is known as a Personal Choice Contribution (PCC) and is often referred to as a Third Party Top-Up Agreement.