Paying for your care needs

Paying for residential and nursing home care

If you have to go into a residential home or a nursing home the cost may be one of the things that concern you most.

There are a number of residential and nursing homes in Thurrock and they charge different amounts, depending on the facilities they provide and the amount of care you need.

You will have to pay a contribution for accommodation and personal care – for example, help with dressing and bathing. How much you pay will depend on your personal circumstances.

We will look at your finances with you to help work out how much you will have to pay, and whether you qualify for financial help.

If you receive free nursing care, it will not affect how much you pay towards your personal care.

How much you pay

When we look at your finances, we have to take into account any pensions or wages you receive, Pension Credit, Income Support and any other benefits you could claim for your stay in the home.

We do not count Attendance Allowance or Disability Living Allowance (DLA) as part of your income. If we pay the cost of your accommodation and personal care, you would only be able to continue receiving Attendance Allowance, the DLA Care component or the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Daily Living component for a maximum of 28 days.

We also take into account any capital you may have, such as savings, shares, ISAs or bonds. If your combined capital is over £23,250, you will have to pay the full cost of your stay in the care home. Any capital between £14,250 and £23,250 will be taken into account when we work out how much you will have to pay.

The government gives guidance on what you can afford and how you can pay.

Property you own

The value of any property you own will normally be included when we look at your finances.

There are situations where it may be necessary to sell/ defer costs against your home in order to pay for your residential or nursing home care. The value of your property will not be counted, however, if either:

  • you are still within the first 12 weeks of your permanent stay in a care home
  • your husband, wife or partner continues to live there
  • a relative aged 60 or over continues to live there
  • a relative under 60 who receives certain disability allowances continues to live there
  • a child under 16, for whom you are financially responsible, continues to live there

You should tell us if you believe there are other reasons why we should not take account of the value of your property.

Delaying your payments

The majority of your finance may be tied up in your property, but you may not wish to sell – or be able to sell – your property immediately to pay for your care.

In this case, you may be eligible to delay payment by applying for a 'deferred payment agreement' with us. Our deferred payment scheme allows property owners to avoid selling their homes straight away.

With a deferred payment agreement:

  • you pay a contribution towards your care fees from any available income
  • we pay the difference between your assessed contribution and the full cost of care, until end your life or the sale of the property

For full details of a deferred payment agreement please contact the customer finance team.

We would advise that you get independent financial advice before entering into the scheme. Go to Citizens Advice: getting financial advice.

Paying for more expensive accommodation

If you choose to go into a care home that is more expensive than we are prepared to pay, you will need to pay the extra costs. These costs could be paid by a friend or relative, or by a voluntary organisation. If you own a property and sign a deferred payment agreement, you can pay the extra amount yourself if it is reasonable to do so.

We advise you to talk to your social worker before you agree to pay for more expensive care because if you're not able to keep paying the extra amounts you may have to move to a different home. This can be upsetting and unsettling.