Paying for residential and nursing home care if you own property
In order to help you work out how much you have to pay towards care home fees, we carry out a financial assessment. This will take into account how much income you receive and what capital you have.
Any property you own will normally be included as one of your capital assets and there are situations where it may be necessary to sell your home in order to pay for your residential or nursing home care.
There are a number of schemes in place that can help you to plan for the future. However, they can seem very complicated and everyone's circumstances are different. That's why we strongly recommend that you contact us for advice about how you might be affected.
Sometimes there are circumstances that mean we'll 'disregard' the value of your property. It will not be counted if any of the following applies:
- 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're financially responsible, continues to live there.
We may be also be able to disregard the value of your property if it's lived in by someone who is your main carer.
Please let us know if you believe there are any other reasons why we should not take account of the value of your property.
The 12-week Property Disregard Scheme
The decision to sell your home is a major one. This scheme has been created to give you time to think about your future care before making any final decisions about your property. It means that for the first 12 weeks of long-term care we only ask you to pay a contribution towards your care fees and we'll pay the rest, depending on the amount of income and savings that you have.
If these total over £23,250 you will not be eligible for the scheme and you will be expected to meet the full cost of your care home. The same applies if you sell your property during the 12-week period.
Deferred Payment Scheme
The aim of this scheme is to allow you time to decide what to do with your home and how you will pay for the cost of your ongoing care. With a deferred payment agreement, you only pay the contribution towards your care fees that you would have made if your home hadn't been counted as capital. We pay the balance, which is repaid in full to the Council at the end of your life or whenever the property is finally sold.
You can find out more from our Deferred Payment Scheme application form and guidance notes (MS Word, 243KB).
We recommend that you get independent financial advice before entering into such a scheme and that you look into other ways of paying for your care.
Paying for more expensive accommodation
You may want to go into care that is more expensive than we can fund. For the period of the 12-week property disregard, you would need to find a way to pay the difference between the amount that we would agree to pay and the actual fees charged by the home; what we call a 'top up'. You can pay this by using any of your assets that are disregarded in the financial assessment, or by arranging for friends or family to pay the difference.
After the 12 weeks, we would usually agree to defer the whole fees. However, if you're paying the top-up from your own assets, we would only let this continue until the debt exceeded the value of your property less £23,250. At this point, you would need to get a friend or family member to pay the top up or you may have to move home.
We advise you to talk to your social care practitioner before you agree to pay for more expensive care, because if you're unable to maintain the top-up payments, you may have to move to another home and this can be upsetting and unsettling.
For more information see Paying for Residential and Nursing Home Care.
Or you can go to the Age UK website for information about paying for permanent residential care.
Finance, Adult and Community Services
Address: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Civic Centre, 44 York Street, Twickenham, TW1 3BZ
Phone: 020 8831 6400
These different schemes can seem very complicated and everyone's circumstances are different. We strongly recommend that you contact us for free, confidential advice to see how you will be affected.