How to pay for a care home

Even if you don’t qualify for local authority care home funding, other options can be considered.

Are you preparing to move into a care home, or supporting a loved one in this process?

Your first port of call should be to arrange a care needs assessment, followed by a financial assessment, with your local authority. These assessments are prerequisites to receiving any available council funding to help pay for a care home.

But what if you discover you don’t qualify for this funding? Or you’re only eligible for partial funding? This guide outlines alternative ways to finance a care home place.

Read on to discover more about:

  • How to avoid selling your home to pay for care
  • Care home top-ups
  • Care home insurance
  • NHS-based care funding
  • Charitable support


Selling your home to pay for care

Do I have to sell my home to pay for care? Can I avoid selling your home to pay for care?

Selling your home is one of the most common means of paying for a care home in the UK. But you may be able to delay selling your home, or avoid it altogether.

Some people in Scotland may qualify for the ’12 Week Property Disregard’ scheme. Check out our guide to care home funding in Scotland for more information and to discover whether you may be eligible to delay or avoid selling your home to pay for care.

A similar property-disregard scheme also operates in England.


Care home top-ups

You may be able to get a ‘top-up’ payment from a relative or loved one. This allows you to select a care home that may cost more than the amount provided for by your council. It could enable you to choose a care home in a preferred post code, even if it costs more, for example.


Care home insurance

Another option to consider is applying for an Immediate Need Care Fee Annuity. After an initial lump sum is paid, this insurance provides regular tax-free income towards your care home placement.

Before taking an annuity, you should consider how long you anticipate requiring care home accommodation. Such an annuity may not prove cost-effective if you are only in a care home for a short period time.

When considering such products, it’s best to seek professional financial advice.


NHS-based care funding for people in hospital (formerly NHS Continuing Healthcare)

You may be eligible for funding towards your care home accommodation and care if you’re currently being treated in hospital.

To determine if you qualify, a team of healthcare professionals would conduct an assessment designed to answer one key question: Can your care needs be properly met in any setting other than a hospital?

If so, then you may be eligible for funding towards your care and accommodation costs. Care could be provided within your own home or in a care home, depending on your needs. However, you may also be required to make a fees contribution.

In Scotland, this is known as Hospital Based Complex Clinical Care. It replaces the previous system known as NHS Continuing Healthcare, sometimes referred to as NHS Continuing Care.


Charitable support or fund

Worried you won’t be able to make ends meet? You may be able to seek financial support from a charitable or benevolent fund. More information is available by contacting Turn2us.


Getting re-assessed for care needs

Regardless of your current circumstances, you’re entitled to have your care needs and finances reassessed every six months. A reassessment can be requested sooner if you experience a dramatic change of circumstances. Contact your local authority’s social care department to arrange a follow-up care and/or financial assessment. Do this as soon as possible, particularly if you’re concerned that your finances may soon fall into a different threshold.

Last updated 13 June 2018

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