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Funding your own care at home or in a care home

If you think you may need residential or home care, we can help you understand what help might be available towards your care costs.

Care costs at home

We recognise that care at home, from a professional care worker, may be suitable if you don’t need the level of care provided by a residential care home. Home care is flexible. For example, you may benefit from regular visits from a care worker, or short-term care, so a family carer can take a break, or 24-hour care from a live-in carer, or temporary care to help you recover after leaving hospital, or emergency care. We know how important it us for people to stay independent in their own home.

The cost of care at home, varies considerably, depending on where you live, how much care you need and at what time of day, and whether you employ care workers through an agency or directly. A live-in carer could cost more than moving to a care home. 

Self-funding: email us at if you are in residential care.

Care at home

If you are self-funding your care costs and your assessment shows you have needs that meet the threshold for support, you have a right to ask us to arrange those services.

You can employ a care worker yourself, either directly or through an agency. If you employ a care worker directly, you will have more control over who cares for you and what they do, but you will also have certain legal responsibilities as an employer. For more information visit: Employing staff - GOV.UK. 

Self-funding: email us at if your care is at home.

Residential care

There are different types depending on what care you need: residential care homes offering personal care, nursing homes, offering personal care, and nursing care.

Some care homes have specialisms, such as dementia care.

Families must decide what type of care is best depending on their personal circumstances. Residential care can provide benefits, friendship, activities, meals and accommodation and personal care all on hand when needed.

Residential care costs

Again, care home costs vary depending on where you live and the type of care you need. Locally, you can expect to pay an average weekly cost for a single room in a residential care home of £1,128, or £1,441 for a nursing home.

We recommend that you check the contract you have with your care home provider, check when the costs are going to increase, what is included and what costs extra.

The more expensive the care home you choose, the less likely it is that we can fund the full cost. We could ask you to choose a cheaper home or pay a top-up fee to cover the difference between what the care home costs, and what we can pay towards your care.

If you are self-funding and lack mental capacity, and there is no one who can arrange care for you, we will help to decide your care. Occasionally, we will also help to manage your finances if they are not complex. There must be no one who can help manage your finances for you.

A financial assessment to see how you can pay for your care

When we have decided upon your care needs (the care needs assessment) and decided your personal budget (PB) we will ask our finance colleagues to complete a financial assessment (known as a means test).

This assessment helps you to understand how much you and or we should contribute and pay for any of your care needs.

Sometimes you may not need to have a financial assessment if the NHS is paying for your care, nor if in residential care when arranged under section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

How we calculate what you must pay depends on whether you need care at home or in a care home. If you have significant financial resources, we may not need to do an assessment, but you may want to tell us about your care needs. 

The financial assessment (means test)

Whether you have care at home or in a residential setting, our finance colleagues will review your income. This includes, pensions and most benefits, and your capital, for example, savings and investments. Whether the value of your home is included or not depends on your circumstances and the type of care you need. Only the income of the person receiving care and capital is looked at, not a partner’s income & capital.

Capital more than £23,250.

Or a weekly income greater than the care fees. You may have to pay for all your care yourself, depending on your circumstances.

Capital between £14,250 and £23,250.

When you have capital between these amounts, we will calculate these savings as providing you with an income of £1 a week for every £250 (or part of £250). You may also have to contribute from your income.

Capital less than £14,250.

We will not ask you to use this capital towards your care costs. You may also have to contribute from your income.

We review your financial circumstances annually, but you must also tell us if those circumstances change.

When you have care at home, we do not include the value of your home in the financial assessment, so you will not have to sell it to fund your care.

We make sure that all our people have a minimum guaranteed weekly income. This reflects what central government guidelines say you should have available to spend to meet your financial needs.

If you need short term care when being discharged from hospital to maintain or regain your independence, this is provided to you free of charge for up to four weeks. If you still require care after 4 weeks, we will complete a financial assessment and you may have to pay for any care you need.

If it has been decided that you need residential care, then we must take into consideration the value of your home when assessing the value of your capital. Sometimes the value of your home may be excluded. The value of your home is ignored if: your home is still the main home of your partner or former partner, a close relative who is 60 years of age or over or a close relative who is incapacitated (for example, they qualify for disability benefits such as Attendance Allowance).

The rules are very complicated, so we can only provide indicative advise until a full financial assessment has been completed.

If you have under £23,250 in capital, apart from the value of your home, and do not have enough income to pay your care home fees, we will ignore the value of your home, when calculating your capital for the first 12 weeks after your permanent move to a care home. This is to give you time to sell your home or look at other options on how you might fund your care.

Please do not be tempted to give away your assets, such as money or property, or buy expensive items so that your income or capital reduces, expecting that we must pay more towards your care. If you do, this can have serious consequences for you and anyone you have given your assets to. When we undertake the financial assessment, we can look at assets you previously owned as well as what you own now. We review whether you have given away money or other assets deliberately, to avoid paying for your care. This is known as deprivation of assets. We review bank statements and participate in the National Fraud Initiative (NFI). The NFI is a data matching exercise conducted by the Cabinet Office to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. Participating organisations from public and private sectors, for example banks and government departments share their data to check if people have given away money, then claimed help towards their care.

If we do find that you have deliberately deprived yourself of assets with the intention of avoiding paying for care, we will treat you as still having the asset(s) and include its value in your financial assessment.

NHS health care

Occasionally, the NHS may be responsible for paying for your care. This is only when people have a particularly high level of health and care needs.

NHS care can be provided at home, in a care home or in a hospice. The NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment has no set list of health conditions that mean people qualify. GP’s, healthcare, or social workers involved in looking after you consider whether it would be appropriate for you to be assessed.

If people do not qualify for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding but have been assessed as needing nursing care in a nursing home, you may qualify for NHS-funded nursing care. A flat rate contribution of approx. £209.19 per week is payable (01.04.2022. rate).

Please remember that if you are funding your own care, your capital may reduce, and could reduce below the £23,250 thresholds. Contact us in advance, we can only help from the date you get in touch.

Your capital can also increase, for example, if you’re left money in a will. If this happens, and we can help to fund your care, tell us immediately. We do not want you to owe us money.

Most importantly when any change in your financial situation, including your income occurs, let us know.

Example of residential care costs per week

If your income is less than the full cost of your accommodation, the charge will be based on the income we consider, minus an amount for your Personal Expenses Allowance and minus a further amount for any other expenses we will allow.

Full cost of accommodation (paid by the Council to the care home)


Personal Expenses Allowance (the amount you have left to spend)


The total income and benefits you receive


Charge (what you must pay to the Council)


If your income is more than the full cost of your accommodation, the charge will be the full cost of your accommodation.

Full cost of accommodation (paid by the Council to the care home)


Personal Expenses Allowance (the amount you have left to spend)


The total income and benefits you receive


Charge (what you must pay to the Council)


Information and advice