If you do not qualify for local authority funding, you may need to pay for the full cost of a care home yourself (known as ‘self funding’).

Self funders represent two in every five people in care homes.

Financial thresholds for self funding a care home

Self funding threshold in England

If you live in England and have capital of more than £23,250, you’ll be required to use this to pay the entire cost of your residential or nursing care home.

Equally, if you have less than £23,250 in capital, but a weekly income considered high enough to cover the cost of your care home fees, you’ll be responsible for paying the full care home cost.

 

Questions about funding care?

Care Sourcer’s friendly care experts are on hand to provide guidance on typical care costs, help you explore your funding and benefit options, or even negotiate care fees on your behalf. Call us on freephone:

0800 098 8299

(Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)

Self funding threshold in Wales

Generally speaking, in Wales you’ll be expected to self-fund the full amount of your residential care home costs in Wales if you have £40,000 or more in savings and assets.

However, nursing care is provided free of charge throughout nursing care homes in Wales.

Self funding threshold in Northern Ireland

If you have more than £23,250 in capital, you’ll be expected to self-fund the entire cost of your care in a residential or nursing care home in Northern Ireland.

Self funding threshold in Scotland

If you live in Scotland and have more than £27,250 in assets — including home ownership — then the local authority will not fund the accommodation costs incurred at a residential or nursing care home.

So, if you have assets exceeding £27,250, you’ll need to finance the accommodation costs on your own, or with the help of family or friends.

 

Selling your home, or renting it out to pay for a care home

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 and a similar property-disregard scheme also operates in England.

If you are eligible for this scheme, the local authority will disregard the value of your property for the first 12 weeks of your care when assessing how much you need to pay towards the cost of your care home. This can give you some time to consider whether you want or need to sell your home to pay for care homes costs, rather than having to rush into a decision.

This can also be useful if you don’t know whether you plan to stay in a care home long-term, or are requiring some respite care.

After 12 weeks, the value of your property will be counted as part of your capital and you will be required to pay the full cost of your care.

However, if your spouse or partner also lives in the home, and the property is registered in both names, then it will be excluded within your financial assessment, and your spouse or partner can continue to live at home.

If you face the prospect of selling your home to pay for accommodation, you could first explore renting out your home, even temporarily, or downsizing to release equity.

 

Other options to pay for a care home

You may wish to consider other options to help pay for a care home.

For example, you could explore:
Care home ‘top-ups’: a friend or relative may be willing to provide a top-up, which can enable you to select a care home that costs more than the amount provided for by your council
– Care home insurance: after an initial lump sum is paid, an Immediate Need Care Fee Annuity provides regular tax-free income towards your care home placement
– Hospital Based Complex Clinical Care: the NHS may continue to pay for your care if your support needs can be met outside of a hospital
– Charitable funds: in emergency situations, financial support may be available from a charitable or benevolent fund

 

Summary

Do I have to pay for care myself if I don’t qualify for local authority funding?

If you do not qualify for local authority funding, you may need to pay for the full cost of a care home yourself (known as ‘self funding’). Self funders represent two in every five people in care homes.

Do I have to sell my 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.

You may qualify for the ’12 Week Property Disregard’ scheme, where the local authority will disregard the value of your property for the first 12 weeks of your care when assessing how much you need to pay towards the cost of your care home.

If I don’t qualify for local authority funding, what other options do I have to pay for a care home?

If you face the prospect of selling your home to pay for care home accommodation, you could first explore renting out your home, even temporarily, or downsizing to release equity.

There are also insurance products and charitable funds which may be able to help.

Questions about funding care?

Care Sourcer’s friendly care experts are on hand to provide guidance on typical care costs, help you explore your funding and benefit options, or even negotiate care fees on your behalf.

Call us on freephone: 0800 098 8299 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)

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(Last updated 9 September 2020)

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