Paying for a care home
If your social care assessment has identified that living in a care home is the best way to meet your needs, and you've asked us to help you arrange this, we will assess how much you'll need to contribute towards the cost of your care.
How much you will have to pay
We can provide financial help if you have less than £23,250 of capital assets and you need care in a residential or nursing home.
If you have more than £23,250 of capital assets you will be expected to pay the full costs yourself. If you own your home, this will be taken into account when we calculate your capital. Your income includes statutory benefits and private pensions.
Calculating your contribution
We follow a set of national guidelines to work out how much you need to contribute towards the cost of your care each week.
These guidelines are subject to review by the government each April.
A deferred payment is an arrangement you make with us to use the value of your home to help you pay your care home costs.
You may be able to have deferred payments if:
- you're receiving care in a care home (or you're going to move into one soon)
- you own your home (unless your partner, a dependent child, a relative over the age of 60, or someone who is sick or disabled still lives in your home, or if another discretionary reason applies)
- you have savings and investments of less than £23,250, not including the value of your home or your pension funds
You should seek some independent financial advice if you're considering doing this.
Frequently asked questions
Who can live in my home if I have a deferred payment agreement?
This is up to you, although there are benefits to keeping your home occupied. It must be maintained and insured for as long as you have the deferred payment agreement.
Can I still get a deferred payment agreement if I've gifted money or my home to my children?
If you've transferred your home to your children and no longer have any interest in it, you'll not be able to enter into a deferred payment agreement. A deferred payment agreement for care costs will always need to be repaid - either by the sale of your home after your death, or for instance, by pay-out from a life assurance policy.
If the council believes that your home or your money have been given away in your lifetime for the purpose of avoiding paying care charges, then we're able to seek a court order to recover any money that we're owed. That may include a charging order over the property.
How long does it take to set up a deferred payment agreement?
During the first 12 weeks you're in a care home your home is disregarded for the purposes of calculating what you might pay, and a deferred payment agreement would usually start after that period. If you're eligible, we should be able to set up a deferred payment agreement within 12 weeks of you moving to a care home.
Who will value my home?
We'll arrange to have your property valued. You can request an independent valuation if you disagree with ours.
Can the terms of my deferred payment agreement be changed at any time?
The maximum amount of costs that the council will pay on your behalf, along with the interest rate and any administrative fees, will be set out at the start of the deferred payment agreement. These will be reviewed regularly and can be changed.
Any other conditions – for example, how the property should be maintained – will also be written down in your agreement. Make sure that you understand the full terms and conditions and get independent advice from a solicitor, financial adviser or an independent organisation before signing a deferred payment agreement.
What will happen to my home after my death?
The executor of your estate should arrange to repay the money you owe us. This will usually need to be done within 90 days. Interest charges will continue to be added during this period.
If after 90 days, if reasonable steps to repay the deferred payment agreement haven't been taken, we can start action to recover the amount owed.