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Paying for a care home

If you need to move permanently into a residential or nursing care home, you will usually have to pay something towards the costs. For many people this will mean that most of your income will go towards the fees. If you are in a nursing home, the nursing part of your care will be paid for by the NHS, but you will usually have to pay towards the residential part of your care.

Most people prefer to stay independent, living in their own home for as long as possible. There are a range of care and support services available, that you may wish to consider, before making a decision to move to a care home. More information about these services is available on the help in your home and community page.

What do the fees pay for?

Care home fees usually cover:

  • all accommodation and utility costs
  • monitoring and administering medication
  • personal care (e.g. washing, dressing, bathing, assisting with toileting needs)
  • 24 hour support
  • social and recreational activities

You may be asked to pay the cost of certain extra things, such as newspapers, cigarettes, clothing or hairdressers. These costs can be paid out of your personal allowance (see below).

Can I get help to pay the fees?

Depending on your financial situation, if you are eligible for care and support services, you may be asked to pay all or part of the cost of your care. To find out if you are eligible for care and support you will need to ask Warrington Borough Council's Adult Social Care First Response Team for an assessment of your needs.

To find out whether we can help you with your care costs, we will also do a financial assessment. This looks at your income, savings, capital and outgoings to work out how much you should pay towards the cost of your care and support.

Usually, if you have more than £23,250 in savings or other investments, we will ask you to pay the full cost of your services. This means that you are a 'self-funder'.  If you are a self-funder you may choose to arrange your own care. More information about being a self-funder is provided below.

If you have less than £23,500, you may still be required to make a contribution towards the cost of care and support, but may not have to pay for all of it. 

What is included in my financial assessment and what is my personal allowance?

Your financial assessment looks at your income, savings, and capital to work out how much you should pay towards the cost of your care.

Your ‘capital’ includes any money you hold in bank accounts, ISAs, shares, cash, land or property that you own (but do not live in) or any other investment. If you move permanently into a care home and are a home owner, the value of this property will also be taken into account.

Your ‘income’ includes most state benefits, state retirement pension and private or work pensions.

A small amount of your income will be ‘disregarded’ to ensure that you have a minimum personal allowance of £24.90 per week. If you've made additional provision for your retirement (e.g. a private pension or savings) the council will disregard a small proportion of it so that you will receive a higher personal allowance.

We can provide more personalised details about what parts of your capital, savings and income will be included or excluded during your full financial assessment.  

Find out how much you may have to pay

Our online calculator can help you to find out how much you may need to pay towards your care based on your income, savings and expenses.

Find out how much you may have to pay for your care: Start the online calculator

Do I have to sell my house?

The value of your house is usually counted as capital, so if you are moving into a care home permanently, you may have to sell your house to pay the fees. You won't have to sell it immediately if you don't want to, the council will cover your fees but will ask you to sign a contract agreeing that you will pay them back once it has been sold. This is known as a deferred payment agreement.

The value of your home won't be considered when it comes to paying for the first 12 weeks of any permanent stay in a care home. However your incomes and savings will still be taken into account.

If your spouse or partner (of any age), or another relative who is over 60 or who is incapacitated is still living in your home, then you won't need to sell it.

If you own a home, you may wish to get independent financial advice. Check that the advisor is a member of the Society of Later Life Advisors (SOLLA).

How do I pay the fees?

You will usually receive a bill every four weeks listing the services you have received and the amount you have been to pay.  If you have agreed with the council for other people, such as a relative or charity, to contribute to the fees, the council will also send them a regular bill. 

There are several ways you can pay your bill either at post offices, by cheque, by standing order or by debit card over the phone. All the payment options are explained clearly on the back of any bill.

What help can I get if I am a self-funder?

If you are a self-funder (i.e. you have too much income or savings to qualify for financial support) we can provide information and advice on how to choose and arrange a care home. More information about choosing a care home can be found on the care homes page and local care homes are listed within this directory.

If you are unable to manage arranging a care home yourself and have no one to assist you, the Council can help you to arrange and manage the contract with the care home.

If you are funding your own care, you may wish to seek further independent financial advice. Check that the advisor is a member of the Society of Later Life Advisors (SOLLA).

What if I can’t manage my own finances?

If you are unable to manage your own finances, there are a number of different ways that other people can manage them on your behalf. For example:

  • Appointeeship
  • Third party mandate
  • Ordinary power of attorney
  • Lasting power of attorney
  • Court appointed deputy

Which option is appropriate depends on whether the person needing care and support can currently make their own decisions (which is called having mental capacity) or whether they are unable to make their own decisions (which is called lacking mental capacity). It will also depend on whether or not there is a suitable person who is willing and able to undertake the role of managing finances.

Carers UK offers further information about the different ways of managing someone’s affairs.

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