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Who Pays For Care For The Elderly?

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Paying for care homes and nursing homes is expensive.

However do not stress, some help is available to meet the cost if you meet certain requirements.

We are also aware that the care system can be complicated and difficult to find your way through.

Hopefully, in this post we will clarify things for you and help grow your understanding of the system and what you may be entitled to.


Care Home and Residential care for your loved one can prove expensive.

You may be eligible for financial help from your local council or, in some circumstances, from the NHS.

Initially, the care home fees can vary depending on many different factors, the location / area of the care home can change the cost / price of the residential care. The care home itself can impact the cost depending on the quality and services provided.

Finally, your loved ones personal finances can also impact the individuals cost for residential care and the amount of assistance your loved one can receive from a variety of sources.

Care Homes can cost around £600 a week with many nursing homes costing over £800 a week. This can be a great expense for yourself or your loved ones but for many there is assistance available.

Payment Help

The Local council is one option to assist with residential care payment. If you are eligible for assistance, the council will first carry out a care needs assessment.

If this initial assessment recommends that care is required they will then carry out a financial means test to work out whether you qualify for partial or majority assistance with payment. The financial means test will assess your loved ones income, assets and capital.

There are similar arrangements that apply for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. And, in Northern Ireland, it’s the local health and social care trust that will carry out your social care needs assessment.

If your loved ones needs are primarily health-based the NHS can contribute partially towards the cost of their care. Although your loved one will be expected to contribute towards care home costs from there eligible income, this is evaluated based on their assets and income.

They will always be left with their personal expenses allowance, usually valued at around £24.90 a week.

If you’re eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, your care home placement will be free.

The Financial Means Assessment

This section we will set out what the parameters in terms of financial expectations for payment. This is the parameters that councils and other parties will be assessing in a financial means test and how they tend to categorise it.

Here’s how the means test for social care will look at your financial estate and how this will affect your care home fees:

Your Loved Ones Capital What Your Loved Will Pay?
Over £23,500 Full payment will be expected, otherwise referred to as Self-funded (Unless specific medical requirements lead to NHS payment)
£14,250-£23,500 Your Loved one will be entitled to some financial support from their local council. With you loved one expected to pay the rest. 
Below £14,250 The local council will pay for your care. However, they will still take your eligible income into account.
  The NHS will cover residential care costs in certain situations if your loved ones medical needs fit a specific NHS criteria. In this scenario the value of your loved ones capital is disregarded. 

Certain types of income, such as money from certain disability benefits, may not be counted in the means test. This is the same for certain types of capital.

Hopefully, this post has provided some clarity and helped you and your loved one become more aware of the potential funding available and who is required to pay for their residential care.

We understand that the process of payment and arranging care for your loved one can be stressful and at times confusing. Feel free to check out some of our other blog posts which may make the process easier and smoother for you and your loved one.

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