Paying for long term care arranged by social services
Please note the information below is effective from
Monday 9th April 2012
This information is for adults who have been assessed as
needing to move to a residential or nursing home and
who are seeking help from Adult Social Care Department to
pay towards the costs.
The Local Authority must charge for places they arrange
in residential or nursing homes. The amount you
will have to contribute to the cost of that care will depend on
your own individual circumstances, how much income and savings you
have, and usually any property you own.
Only a brief overview can be given here as this is a complex
subject. You will be contacted by our Finance
Visiting Officers, who will collect information on your financial
circumstances, and then carry out a financial
Will I need a social care services financial
Yes, everyone has a social care services financial
assessment. This financial assessment will determine how much you
pay towards your home fees and whether you are eligible for help
from the Council towards these costs.
Whether you are eligible for help will depend upon the
level of your savings, income, and any property you have an
What happens if I have any savings?
If you have capital such as savings or investments over £23,250,
either in your own right or as your share of capital held jointly
with a spouse/partner, you will have to pay the full cost of the
residential care or nursing home.
If you have less than £23,250, either in your own right or as
your share of any capital held jointly with a spouse/partner, you
will pay an assessed contribution towards the cost of your
residential care or nursing home.
Capital of less than £14,250 is ignored. However, if you
have capital between £14,250 - £23,250 we will assume that you
receive an income from this of £1 for every £250 between these
amounts. This will form part of your contribution towards the
cost of your care home.
What about my income?
The level of your weekly income will determine whether you are
eligible for help from the Social Care Department towards the
cost of the care home and how much you will have to
When assessing your contribution towards the cost, generally,
all of your income is considered. Most benefits such as
Retirement Pension, Income Support, Guarantee Pension Credit, count
in full. However some benefits such as the mobility component
of Disability Living Allowance are disregarded completely.
The following are examples of other income that has a partial
disregard (there are others):
Occupational/Personal Pensions we will ignore
50% of these pensions when assessing your contribution to pay for
care home costs if :
- You are supporting your spouse; AND
- Your spouse is not living in the same residential or nursing
- You are passing on at least 50% of the pension.
Pension Savings Credit - If you receive
savings credit then up to £5.75 per week will be ignored.
What if I have a property?
The financial assessment will also take into account whether
you own property, usually your house. Under certain circumstances
it might be necessary for you to sell the house to pay the cost of
the care home. If your financial resources are tied up in the house
Sefton Council may be able to help you with care home costs prior
to its sale. The money that the Council has spent will be recovered
when the house is sold, less the first 12 weeks after you
permanently moved into the home.
The value of your house will be disregarded if any of the
following apply :
- the property is occupied by your spouse
or partner (except where you are estranged or
- the property is occupied
by a relative or person you are responsible for who is
- aged 60 or
- a child under 16;
For more information on this subject please discuss with your
Finance Visting Officer.
What happens about my Personal Expenses Allowance?
If you qualify for help from Adult Social Care Department
you will be notified of how much you have to contribute towards the
cost of the care home.
You will be left with a personal expenses allowance of £23.50
per week after you have contributed towards the cost. This
allowance can be spent how you wish, and can be used to purchase
personal items such as clothes, toiletries, etc.
The personal expenses allowance is your legal entitlement and
no one may withhold it from you. It should not be used to pay
care home costs covered by the Council's contract with
What about Social Security Benefits?
You should inform the Department of Work and Pensions when you
move into a care home and of any subsequent changes in
If Social Care Services are helping to pay the care home
costs, any Attendance Allowance or the care component of Disability
Living Allowance will usually stop after four weeks (or soonerif
you have previously been a hospital in-patient or Council funded
respite accommodation). If you receive the mobility component of
Disability Living Allowance this will continue to be paid.
When can the service start?
You should not move into the residential or nursing home
until the funding allocation meeting has agreed the level
of service, and has given a commitment to assist you with your
costs. If you move into the home without Panel approval there
can be no guarantee that Social Care Department will help with
the costs of your care.
Top Up Payments
Sefton’s Residential and Nursing Home
fees are set by the Council
annually in line with the budget
process, however some homes charge a higher rate than this. If you
choose to go to one of these homes, you and your family will need
to pay the difference between Sefton’s set rate and the rate
charged by the home. This arrangement is known as a third party top
Guidance Notes for
Third Party Top-ups (word 59kb)
What if I am Self Funding?
There are some circumstances when you do not need help from
the Social Care Department towards the cost of your care
home. This is likely to be where you have enough income
to pay the cost yourself. In these circumstances you
should seek welfare rights advice to ensure that you are receiving
the correct amount of welfare benefits.
Where you require nursing care and are paying the cost
yourself, then it may be possible to receive a contribution from
the Health Authority towards the nursing home fees.
Can I Appeal against assessment of Charges?
If you are dissatisfied with your financial assessment please
discuss this with your Finance Visiting Officer who will
explain the appeals process.
Please note: Any capital or income may not be given away
in order to reduce care costs. If this has occurred the
local authority may treat you as if you still had the
Last Updated on 7/22/2013