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Paying for your care in a care home

Lady in wheelchair in care home

Paying for your care in a care home

Paying for residential care in a care home is expensive. If you are considering a care home you will need to consider how much this will cost, how it will be funded and what will happen if your money runs out. 

Some people may be eligible for financial help from Peterborough City Council or, in certain circumstances, from the NHS.  

If you are eligible for funding support, Peterborough City Council could pay some or most of the fees. We will carry out a care and support assessment which includes a financial assessment that looks at your income and savings.  The financial assessment will look at whether you can afford to pay for your own care and whether you’re eligible for financial help from the council. 

Financial Assessment

A financial assessment calculates how much you need to pay towards the cost of your care in a care home by looking at your income, savings and capital and will also provide advice on welfare benefits which you may be entitled to.

Your income and any savings or capital you have will still be taken into account.

  • if you have capital or savings with a value above £23,250, including the value of your former home if you owned this, you will need to pay the full cost of your care
  • if your savings are less than £23,250, and you own your own home, its value is disregarded for 12 weeks from when your care starts, or from when you become entitled to help with paying your care home costs from us
  • if your home continues to be occupied by a spouse or partner, or an older or disabled relative, then it will be disregarded in the financial assessment for as long as that person remains living there.

Deferred Payments

Deferred payments of care home fees means that people should not have to sell their home in their lifetime to pay their care home bills.

You can apply for a deferred payment if you need to go into a care home and you don’t want or can't sell your home. We can make payments to the care home on your behalf as an ongoing loan, using your home as security. The funds loaned are to be repaid to us either when you sell your home, or after your death. Interest is charged on deferred payments; the interest rate is set by the Government and reviewed twice a year.

If your savings or capital are below £23,250, you are entitled to keep at least a weekly personal expenses allowance of £24.90 from your income and benefits, and the remainder is usually required as your contribution towards your care home costs.

We strongly recommend that you seek independent financial advice if you are meeting your care home costs yourself.  

Care home costs and 'top ups'

The cost of a care home can vary from home to home, but the council has a 'usual rate' that we are prepared to pay for a suitable available care home placement in the local area.

If there are suitable care home placements available at the council's usual rate but you choose a care home that has a higher weekly cost than this, and you are not funding the cost of your care yourself, then you may need to ask a family member or other third party to make an additional weekly “top-up”. This will cover the difference between what you will need to pay from your weekly income, our contribution, and the total cost of the care.

If you make an arrangement with a care home that includes payment of a top-up, it is very important that you make the council aware of this and include these amounts in your funding contract with the home to ensure that you are not charged unfairly.

If the person making these extra payments cannot continue to make these in the future, the council may not automatically make up the difference.  You may need to think about moving to a less expensive home if the home will not accept a lower rate – but this would only be considered as a last resort.

If you arrange a place in a care home on a self-funding basis, without council assistance, and the care home fees are higher than we are usually prepared to pay, you will need to think about how the fees will be paid if your capital drops below the funding threshold level in the future. It is always best to obtain independent financial advice to help you to decide how best to manage and arrange your finances to pay your care home fees.

NHS funded nursing care

Nursing care homes look after people who need to be cared for in bed due to an illness, or who need frequent medical attention. If you need care in a nursing home, the NHS meets the cost of the nursing element of your care.

If you pay for your own care in a nursing care home, you will still qualify for NHS funded nursing care.

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