How to fund your long-term care – a beginner’s guide

Money Advice Service

There are many options for funding long-term care and they can often be complicated to understand. So if you or a loved one need to pay for care at home or in a care home, it’s important to know the facts.

How much will you need to pay for long-term care?

Top tip

People often have to make quick and difficult decisions about their own or a loved one’s care needs. Thinking about the options in advance will help in the long run.

This all depends on your health and mobility, what level of help and support you need, the value of your savings, assets and income, and what local authority or NHS funding you might be entitled to. .

You could end up paying for all of it, some of it or nothing at all.

NHS continuing healthcare

If you have a disability or complex medical problem, you might qualify for free NHS continuing healthcare (CHC) if you’re an adult, or free NHS continuing care (CC) if you’re under 18.

Not many people know about it, so it’s important to find out if you’re eligible and get an assessment.

This is a package of healthcare that’s arranged and funded by the NHS. It is provided for you at home, or in a hospital, nursing home or hospice.

You’re more likely to qualify if you have mostly healthcare needs rather than social care needs. In other words you need a nurse or medical attention rather than a carer.

If you live in Northern Ireland, Continuing Health Care is provided by your local Health and Social Care Trust.

Local authority funding for long-term care

Your local council (or Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland) may be able to help you with the costs of a care home, or if you prefer, and it’s appropriate, they can help you stay in your own home by providing carers, support for carers, equipment and specialist services.

Exactly how much funding you receive will depend on:

Your local authority or trust can arrange care services for you or you can choose to receive direct payments and organise things yourself.

Read our guide:Direct payments explained

Self-funding your long-term care

Self-funding?

The biggest fear about funding long-term care is that you’ll be forced to sell your home if you need to move into a care home. Fortunately, if you need care in your own home its value is not counted.

Depending on your circumstances you might not qualify for funding from the NHS or your local authority.

Even if you do, the amount you receive might not be enough to completely cover your care costs either at home or in a care home.

If this happens you’ll need to think about how you’re going to top up any contributions, or if you have to pay for it all yourself.

Claim the benefits you’re entitled to

Even if you have to pay for care you may still be entitled to claim some benefits.

These two benefits aren’t means tested, so you could get them if your health needs are great enough regardless of your income and savings:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Disability living allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment (which is replacing Disability Living Allowance)

There are other benefits that you may also be able to claim depending on your circumstances.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

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We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

Some important information about Rest Less Money

We want you to understand the positives, but also the limitations of using our site. We operate in a journalistic manner and therefore all information, guidance or suggestions provided are intended to be general in nature, and you should not rely on any of the information on the site in connection with the making of any financial decision.

When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:

We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.

No Liability – please note that you use the information on Rest Less Money at your own risk and we can’t accept liability for how you choose to use the information given on our site. We will often provide links to content or products and services available on other third-party websites. These are provided purely for your convenience and we cannot be held responsible for any content, or any of the products and services offered on any website that we link to.

 

Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.

A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

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