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State Entitlements

If a need for care is identified, the Local Authority then has a duty to provide for your needs. You can make an appeal if you feel that your needs have not been accurately assessed.

However, when it comes to paying for care, the Local Authority will only consider paying for those who have assets (including your home) of less than £23,250. If you pass the ‘asset test’ you will still be expected to contribute a part any regular income you receive, towards the cost of your care.

If you have capital below £14,250 you will be entitled to maximum support although you will still contribute your income less £22.30 per week retained for personal expenses. If you have capital between £14,250 and £23,250 you will also pay a capital tariff of £1 per week for each £250 or part thereof between these two figures.

If you are self funding (either in your own home or in a Care Home) you can apply to the Local Authority for payment of ‘Attendance Allowance’. This is paid at two levels, and is tax-free.

If you are assessed as needing help and assistane during the day only, or during the night only, you will be paid the lower rate of £47.80 per week. If you need 24 hour help, you will be paid the higher rate of £71.40 per week. It is one of the easisets benefits for the over 65's to obtain, is not means tested and is tax-free.

If your care needs are predominately medical and you are receive care in a Nursing home you may be entitled to an NHS Registered Nursing Care Contribution (RNCC) towards the cost of your nursing care. If applicable, an amount of £108.70 per week is paid by the NHS direct to the nursing home as a contribution towards the weekly fees. If your needs are primarily health care needs, you may be entitled to full funding from your local Primary Care Trust (PCT) following an assessment under their continuing care eligibility criteria.

The above applies to England only. Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland pay different amounts. Visit, and for more information.

Means testing if just your partner is moving into care

Only the partner requiring care should be means tested and any assets owned solely by you will be excluded from this calculation. The Local Authority will view any jointly owned assets as being owned in equal shares.  As above they will only consider making a contribution to the care if the person’s assets are less than £23,250,

Only fifty percent of any private pension should be taken into account and if the person with the higher income is the one moving into care, it is possible for 50% of their pension to be transferred back to the partner remaining at home, if they would otherwise suffer financial hardship (this exclusion only applies to married couples, or to couples in a Civil Partnership).

Once your partner moves into care, the Pensions Service must then treat you separately to determine whether your available individual assets and income qualify you to receive the personal level of Pension Credit.

If I’m getting financial support from the state, am I still free to choose any care home that can provide for my needs?

Yes – if your local authority is assisting with funding, it doesn't mean you have to choose one of their homes - you can request any home that accepts residents funded by the local authority. The only condition is that the local authority will want to be sure that the home is suitable for your specific needs and it does not cost more than the standard cost for that type of care.

You can choose a home in a different location, or which provides a higher level of social facilities etc, but this would have to be in line with the Local Authority’s payment limit, unless a family member is able to make a ‘third party top-up’ to cover the difference in cost.

Top up fees

The local authority will allow the fees to be topped up by a third party who is able to do so over the long term. You are not allowed to top up the fees yourself from capital below £23,250.