Most people will be expected to pay something towards the costs of their accommodation and personal care from their income and capital.
If the local authority is involved in arranging your placement, the amount you will have to pay will be worked out via a means test, which is based on nationally set guidelines.
Regardless of whether you move into a care home on a temporary or permanent basis, your local authority will need to carry out a means test. The amount of money you have is irrelevant at this point.
Once the means test has been carried out and you have been told the level of your needs, your income and assets are taken into account. Currently, if you have assets of more than £23,250, you will need to pay the full cost of your care. Your income is also taken into account.
The Coalition government accepted the Dilnot Commission's recommendations on principle in 2014, but chose different thresholds. These have been incorporated into the Care Bill. From April 2016, the upper capital limit will be £118,000.
This figure sits alongside a new care cost cap of £72,000, above which the state will meet eligible care needs. Progress towards the cap will be measured in a care account.
To find out exactly what this means for you, read our FAQs
To find out more about paying for residential care, the means test and care homes in general, download our free information guides and factsheets below.
Paying for permanent residential care factsheet (PDF 258 KB)
Treatment of property in the means test for permanent care home provision factsheet (PDF 199 KB)
Download the Care homes guide (PDF 645 KB)
Set your location to see what Age UK offers in your local area.
A factsheet explaining the financial help that may be available for older people needing care in a care home.
Our introduction to care homes will help you decide if it is the right choice for you, and explains the help available with payments and how to choose a home.
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