Paying for adult social care

If you have less than £23,250 in savings, you may get some or all of your adult social care costs covered. A financial assessment will determine any financial support you are eligible for.

Paying for residential care or a care home

This information relates to a financial assessment to determine how much you will need to pay towards care provided in a residential or nursing home, if you are considering moving into a care home. This is known as residential services.

Once your care and support assessment is complete, you or someone acting on your behalf must complete a financial assessment so we can work out how much, if anything, you will have to pay.

Information we need from you

You will need to provide us with accurate information with supporting evidence about;

  • your contact details and who, if not yourself, will be your acting on your behalf
  • your income
  • your savings, capital and investments
  • your expenditure (such as rent, mortgage and Council Tax)
  • information to help us check you are in receipt of all the welfare benefits you are entitled to, if you wish

How we calculate the charge

The calculation used to determine how much you need to pay is;

Income – expenditure – allowances = client contribution per week

Your financial assessment officer will look at your income and capital and subtract the level of allowance that the government says we have to ignore. Allowances are monies that the government says we cannot take into account as being available for the purpose of paying for care. They are considered to be monies you need to cover day to day living expenses.

If you are a permanent resident you will keep a minimum of £24.90 each week. You can choose to keep more than this if you own a property and have a deferred payment agreement. See the deferred payment section below for more information.

If you are a temporary resident (because you are planning to return to your own home), allowances can be made for some of your housing costs.

Expenditure (monies you spend) is then taken off and the outcome is the amount of money we will ask you to pay towards your care and support. 

For more details about how income, savings, capital, expenditure and allowances are treated, see our charging policy.

Your capital

You will have to pay the full cost of your care if your capital is above £23,250. This is called the capital threshold.

If you have savings above £23,250, your financial assessment officer will complete a capital calculation to help determine when you may be eligible for help with funding your care. You should tell us when your savings approach £23,250 so that we can help you be prepared in planning for your future funding. 

If you own property

If you are a temporary resident we will not include the value of the home you live in. However, if you own any property or land other than the home you live in, the value will be taken into account.

For permanent residential financial assessments, all property owned by you, either in part or in full, will be considered when calculating an assessed charge.

If you are a permanent resident and your savings are below £23,250 we will ignore the value of the property for the first 12 weeks of permanent care. If eligible, your home will be taken into account from week 13 of your care placement. If you own a second property its value will be taken into account from the date of admission. Failure to keep up with the payments can result in a move to a more affordable home.

Disregarding the value of your property

If you are a permanent resident, your main, former home will not be taken into account if it remains occupied by a person who is:

  1. Aged 60 or over
  2. A child of the resident aged under 18
  3. Incapacitated

When care home costs are higher than what the council will pay

If you choose a care home that charges more than the council usually expects to pay, you will have to find somebody to pay a top-up. A top-up is the difference between what the council will pay and the cost of the home you choose. Family or friends can pay it on your behalf or, if we are taking your property into account and you can afford to, you can pay it yourself. The council must be satisfied that the person paying the top-up can afford to continue payments throughout the duration of your stay.

Help paying care home fees

Once you have chosen your care home, you will need to decide how you are going to pay for your care fees. If you have been assessed to pay full cost for your residential or nursing care, there are 2 options available to you:

  1. You can choose to make your own financial arrangements independently of the council, or
  2. You can apply to the deferred payments scheme operated by the council

You should speak to your financial assessment officer if you are interested in applying for deferred payments. You should always seek independent financial advice.

Contact us

If you have a question about your financial assessment and paying for your care, speak with your financial assessment officer direct or call 020 8760 5676. You can also email enquiries to