The key questions on paying for care

Will I have to sell my home/house to pay for care? Answers to your questions about funding and benefits for live-in care, and the options available when caring for an elderly relative.

There are various ways to pay for live-in care services without the need to sell your home.

If you wish to stay at home with 24 hour live-in care, then any difference between the funding being offered and the charges of the Care Agency will have to be met by the family or other assets, such as a partial equity release from the property. Remember that if you go into a Residential Home the Local Authority will ask for the house to be sold to pay for the Residential Care (or offer you a bridging loan until the sale, at which time you will be asked to pay the money back).

If your home is sold then you will not qualify for funding until the threshold (£23,250) is met, and the value will disappear very quickly. If full funding is not approved, then a top up arrangement will preserve value in the property for a long time.

For more information on funding options for your care here is a good information site Only when the client’s assets fall below the £23,250 threshold will assistance be offered.


The guidelines for funding are as follows:
  • If your assets are worth less than £14,250 (NOT including your house), then you will not have to contribute to the cost of care;
  • If they fall between £14,250 and £23,250 then you will usually be required to pay £1 for every £250 of assets you own between the lower ( £14,250) and upper (£23,250) limits.

Make sure you claim all your benefits before requesting your assessment, as there is a financial component, and the Local Authority will assume you are already claiming them.

For more information on Funding, click here.

For Information on what Benefits you may be entitled to, click here.

For more information on funding options for your care the Money Advice Service is a good information site  – click here

Remember your house DOES NOT COME INTO YOUR FUNDING ASSESSMENT if you choose to receive care at home, BUT CAN BE SOLD to pay for care if you go into residential care.

What are Personal Budgets and Direct Payments?

These are budgets set-up to manage the receipt of funds and the payments for the care that is required by the client. The budget and payments may be received by somebody acting for the client if the Client is not able to manage their own Care Package, but this would have to be approved, and usually would require a Power of Attorney.

These are cash payments given in lieu of community care services you have been assessed as needing, and are intended to give you greater choice in your care.

For further information on Direct Payments, the financial assessment process, and a person’s contribution calculation, click here.

How does the process work?

First, the local authority determines how much money you might need, and more importantly, how much they will contribute, and if you want to manage your own money with a personal budget. Once agreed and if you wish to go ahead with a live-in care service, a support plan is put together, setting out your priorities and goals and how we can help meet them. When you agree the  Care Support Plan you start to receive the cash.

Is the money paid directly to me?

The money can be paid to you directly, or to someone of your choice who can help to look after it for you, and pay for your Live-in care. You will then be in a position to buy-in the care of your choice. If you prefer, the local authority’s Care Manager can use your personal budget to arrange the services of your choice.

What can I spend it on?

You are allowed to spend the allocation on any reasonable means of enhancing your wellbeing, this will have been set out in the Support Plan. The Personal Budgets are to be used to pay for care and help in the home. You can choose who you employ. You will be expected to maiantain a separate bank account for the payments and expenditures, on your Live-in care, to be monitored. The Local Authority will keep a list of Approved (Live-in care)  Providers who have been vetted.

Anything it can't be used for?

At present, personal budgets are not awarded to people in residential care, but that is under review and could change. The funds cannot be used for anything other than expenses directly related to the care of the client, i.e. shopping.

Can you clarify what personal care is?

You are entitled to financial help if you are assesed as requiring personal care:

  • Washing and dressing
  • Eating and drinking
  • Mobilising
  • Continence