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2. Funding for Care

Help & advice

Concerned about how to fund the care of a loved one? Confused by the funding process? This category contains articles and advice on care funding.

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Local Authority Support

The Local Authority will provide help with the cost of long term care but not to everyone. This will depend on the results of your care assessments. If you feel or have been told you will need long term care and are concerned how to pay for it, it is advised that you contact your local authority to see whether financial support is available.

You will only be entitled to Local Authority help with the cost of care under certain circumstances. Those who have money to pay for their own care will not get Local Authority funding support, but those without the means to pay for care can expect to be given at least some financial help.

Types of funding provided by local authority

If you need care at home or in residence, the Local Authority can help with the cost. But help is given only within strict limits and may depend on your health and circumstances. Local Authority funding for long term care comes in a number of forms:

NHS continuing, or long term care funding

Continuing care is fully funded NHS care for those who are severely ill.

If your health needs are great, then you may receive NHS continuing, or long term care funding. In this case, all care costs are met by the NHS. You may also be reassessed for NHS continuing care if your health gets worse. You will be assessed for this form of funding by two or more nurses at your primary care trust.

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a state benefit for over 65s who need help with basic daily tasks. If you are over 65 and need help with bathing or eating, whether at home or in care, you may be eligible for attendance allowance; you get a higher rate for care around the clock and a lower rate for part-time help. If you move into care that is fully funded by the local authority or NHS, the attendance allowance will normally stop after 28 days.

Attendance allowance is not available in care homes in Scotland.

Nursing Care Contribution

Some of the costs of your nursing care can be contributed by the Local Authority and/or the NHS and may be paid directly to your care home or your homecare provider. The level of this contribution varies across the country. You will need to ask your local Primary Care Trust to assess you or alternatively your care home with nursing can arrange this for you.

The contributions and related rules vary between England, Wales and Scotland.

Personal Care Allowance (Scotland Only)

Personal Care Allowance is a contribution made in Scotland towards the cost of personal care. As well as receiving a contribution towards personal or nursing care, if you are paying for your own care you may also receive a weekly payment towards the cost.

Personal Expense Allowance

Personal Expense Allowance is a weekly amount that people whose care is being fully funded are allowed to retain from their pension for their personal use, this allowance amounts to £23.50 (£24.00 in Wales).

Local Authority funding for long term care

You will be assessed by your Local Authority to see if you qualify for long term care funding. The Local Authority may pay for all or some of the costs of your care – depending on how much money you have:

  • If your financial assets – including property – have a total value of less than £14,250, you will qualify for Local Authority funding for long-term care
  • If you have more than £23,250, you will normally be expected to pay for your own care in full
  • If you have between £14,250 and £23,250, you will receive some Local Authority funding. You will however be expected to pay £1 a week for every £250 in assets over £14,250 you have.

Note that the limits on Local Authority funding for long term care vary, depending on which part of the country you live.

Capital limits for Local Authority funding for long term care 2011/12
England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland
Upper limit £23,250 £24,750 £23,250* £23,250
Lower limit £14,250 £15,250 £23,250* £14,250

*No sliding scale currently applies in Wales.

  • If your assets are more than the upper limit, you must pay for your care in full
  • If your assets are less than the lower limit, your care will be paid in full by the local authority