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Funding Support for Places in Local Care Homes

Funding Support for Places in Local Care Homes: Assessing the Financial Assistance You May Be Eligible For

Hundreds of families need to make complex and often emotional decisions every week about how best to manage the care, welfare and safety of loved ones – and many more people are considering a move into a residential care or nursing facility as they find it difficult to cope independently at home.

Across the Forest Healthcare network, discussions about financing support are incredibly common. People and their loved ones need to assess whether they qualify for assistance or the proportion of their care costs they might be expected to self-fund.

Funding for Local Care Home Places: The Essential Information

The first point to cover is that your care needs, or those of your loved one, may influence the types of care and residential homes that are most suitable. For example, a residential home usually provides help with personal care and emotional support and offers comfortable, safe accommodation for residents with a team of qualified carers and support workers.

This all matters because, aside from the funding support available from your local council, you may qualify for additional or separate assistance from the NHS depending on your or your relative’s medical needs.

State vs Self-Funded Care Placements

There are two primary ways to cover the costs of a care home space, usually paid monthly or weekly depending on whether you require long-term ongoing care, or short-term assistance such as rehabilitation or respite care.

  • Self-funding means paying for the care home fees directly. You can discuss your specific care needs with the care coordinator on-site.
  • State funding means the local council pays for some or all of the care home costs.

In many cases, the local authority will pay a proportion of your care costs, and you may be expected to contribute the balance. Much relies on a means-testing process, where the council evaluates the income, assets, and overall wealth of the person requiring care.


Care Home Means Testing Thresholds 2024/25

Local authorities use means testing to ensure they allocate the right financial support to each claimant. However, we appreciate that many families find an evaluation of their assets and income intrusive.

The system is intended to ensure that individuals with low incomes and minimal capital remain able to access high-quality care and that more affluent families receive support proportional to their ability to contribute.

For the 2024/25 financial year in England, the thresholds are as follows:

  • The lower limit is £14,250: a care recipient with income and capital below this value is normally entitled to fully state-funded care in a suitable setting.
  • The upper limit is £23,250: if you or your loved one owns or earns above this value, you will typically be expected to cover all care home costs.
  • Those with an income and assets between the two thresholds will generally receive partial state funding and independently finance the rest of their care costs.

While this system seems straightforward, it is often anything but. For example, some families find that their loved one is over the upper limit, but the majority of their capital is tied to a property they own and do not wish to sell.


Alternative Funding Options in England to Help With the Costs of a Local Residential Care Home

The NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding service is available for people with a primary health need who must have the right assistance to remain healthy and comfortable. The application process involves a care needs assessment, but there is no means testing element.

Currently, that contribution is set at £235.88 per week, although some people living in a nursing centre who began claiming before October 2007 may be eligible to claim up to £324.50 per week to assist with their care costs.


Independent Advice on Managing Care Home Costs

We recognise that the different funding options, means assessments, and care needs evaluations can be confusing. We hope this information outlines some of the various ways to access support with the costs of a care home or nursing care centre for yourself or a loved one.

The first step to arranging the right care may be to arrange a good time to visit your nearest Forest Healthcare centre. Our skilled care coordinators and managers can provide a guided tour to show you the accommodation, amenities and facilities, and discuss the right care solutions.


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