Paying for care | Ben Care
Help and advice

Paying for care

Once you’ve chosen a care home, it’s time to work out how it will be funded. You may be eligible for part or all of your care to be paid for by your local authority or the NHS depending on your financial circumstances and the type of care needed.


NHS Funding

If there is a medical need for care the NHS will fund care home fees, regardless of financial status. This is called NHS Continuing Healthcare. In order to qualify for this support the local nurse or other health professional will conduct a needs assessment to determine the severity of need. Conditions that are eligible for Continuing Healthcare include:

  • Mobility problems
  • Terminal illness
  • Rapidly deteriorating health
  • Long-term medical conditions
  • Physical or mental disabilities
  • Behavioural or cognitive disorders
  • Complex medical conditions that need additional care and support

The assessment looks at 12 key areas, including behaviour, cognition, mobility, continence, skin and tissue viability and breathing. If funding is agreed the money is allocated to a personal health budget which can be paid to you to manage, or to a third party such as a care home, or the NHS can hold these funds for you. For more information on NHS needs assessments click here.


Local Authority Funding

If the medical need is not significant enough for NHS funding, your local authority may be able to help with some of your care home fees. This requires a further assessment called a Care and Support Plan which looks at the care needs alongside the wishes of the person needing care. A key part of this funding decision is a financial assessment which looks into all areas of personal finance, from income and savings to benefits.

This assessment will result in a Care and Support Plan, designed to enable your loved one to continue having a good quality of life, either in their own home or at a care home. Contact your local Adult Social Services to arrange this assessment.


Financial Planning

You’ll need an accurate picture of the financial status of the care home resident because this is part of determining whether they are eligible for financial support. If your loved one’s financial affairs are complex you may wish to ask a financial adviser to help with this process and offer advice on the best way to cover fees.

If your loved one is not eligible for funding, their care will need to be self-funded. Pensions, savings and investments are key sources of funds. Other options include:

  • Benefits such as Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independent Payments
  • Insurance policies such as over 50s plan, critical illness or terminal illness cover
  • Buying an annuity: purchasing an Immediate Needs Annuity (INA), usually bought through the sale of a property this provides peace of mind that your loved one will be able to stay in their preferred care home
  • Home reversion or equity release to free up some capital from a property. These schemes can be risky so it’s very important to see independent financial advice
  • Deferred payment schemes where the local authority loans the money to cover care costs, but this will need to be repaid


More information

For additional information and advice, visit: