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Paying for residential and nursing care

If you're moving into a residential home or a nursing home, you might be worried about the cost. We'll make sure you only pay as much as you can afford.

First, we'll work out the total cost per week of the care you need. Then we'll work out how much you can afford to pay towards the cost of your care.

If you're getting nursing care, this will be paid for by the NHS. But you'll still have to pay towards the cost of staying in the nursing home.

We use the Department of Health guidelines on charging for residential care to work out the cost of your care. These apply to all councils. You can find out more in the legislation (The Care and Support (Charging and Assessment of Resources) Regulations 2014).

What we'll look at

Your income


We'll look at your income, including:

  • your pension
  • your wages
  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • any extra benefits you're entitled to, even if you're not currently claiming them

We do not include Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance when we're looking at your income.

Your savings


We'll also look at any savings you have.

If you have more than £23,250

You'll have to pay the full cost of your care (apart from nursing care). This is called being 'self-funding'.

However, if you have between £23,250 and £24,250 in savings, you should apply for a financial assessment anyway. This means we'll be able to get support in place for you by the time your savings drop below £23,250.

If you have savings between £14,250 and £23,250

You'll have to pay towards your care. For every £250 you have, we'll add £1 to your weekly income when we work out how much you need to pay.

If you have less than £14,250

You'll have to pay towards your care. We'll ignore your savings when we work out how much you can pay.

Once you're getting care, we'll contact you every April to check you're still paying the right amount for your care. If your savings change before then, get in touch with us.

Your house


If you own your home, we may need to include its value when we're working out how much you can afford to pay.

If your home is not included

We will not include the value of your home if:

  • your spouse or partner will keep living there
  • a relative aged 60 or over will keep living there
  • a relative under 60 who gets certain disability benefits will keep living there
  • a child under 16, who you're financially responsible for, will keep living there

There are also a small number of special circumstances where your home will not be included. We'll explain more if any of them apply to you.

If your home is included

We might be able to help with your accommodation charges for the first 12 weeks of your stay if you:

  • own your own home
  • live there alone
  • do not have savings of over £23,250

We'll need to do a financial assessment to see how much you can afford to pay during the first 12 weeks.

After 12 weeks, we offer a deferred payments scheme. This lets you borrow money to pay for your care until your property is sold. To find out more, call us on 01642 726777 or email

If you own your own home and live alone, but you have savings of over £23,250, you'll have to pay for your care yourself.

If you live in a rented property

If you live in a rented property or you're getting Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, we'll talk to you about what to do next.

Get help

Find out if you can get financial help


Your social worker will ask you to sign a form to agree to a financial assessment.

Once you've signed the form, you can apply for a financial assessment.

As part of the assessment, you'll need to provide evidence. It's easier if you gather the evidence before you start filling in the form. You can find out about all the evidence you need on the getting a financial assessment page.

Advice and support


If you'd like advice or support, contact the Financial Assessment Team by calling 01642 726777 or emailing



Personal allowance

When you're paying for your care, you'll always get to keep a Personal Expenses Allowance (PEA). This is a set amount of money per week which you can keep for personal use. For example, to buy toiletries. The amount of your PEA will increase every year with inflation.

You will not be asked to put your PEA towards paying for your care. It's for your own personal use.

Allowance for your partner

We look at your pension when we're working out how much you can afford to pay towards your care. If you have a partner living at home, 50% of your pension can be given to your partner, rather than paying towards your care.

Allowance for housing costs

If you're only staying in care temporarily, we'll give you an allowance to pay for any ongoing costs for your house. For example, mortgage or rent payments, Council Tax, service charges, etc.



If you're unhappy with the amount you have to pay, write to:

Adult Social Care Finance
2nd Floor
Fountain Court
119 Grange Road

You should give as much information as possible about why you're appealing. For example, if you think we've made a mistake when working out how much you need to pay.

If you'd like help with appealing, contact the Financial Assessment Team by calling 01642 726777 or emailing

Get more information about care home costs


The care home handbook explains your rights, both when choosing a care home and while you're living in the care home. You can get a copy of the care home handbook by writing to: Independent Age, 6 Avonmore Road, London, W14 8RL, calling 0800 319 6789, or via the Independent Age website.

Age UK provides independent information and advice on finding and paying for care. You can contact Age UK by calling 0800 169 2081 or visiting the Age UK website.

Money Helper helps people to make the most of their money. It offers impartial information and advice about your money to help you work out what's right for you. If you're looking at long-term care, the website explains what options may be available, and what you should think about before making a decision.

The Society of Later Life Advisers lets you search for accredited financial advisers in your area. They can give advice on fees for care homes and home care, as well as pensions and retirement planning.