Paying for Residential Care – what you need to know!

paying for residential care

Taking the decision to move, or helping a loved one move, into a care home can be a stressful time. It is important that the financial implications are fully understood.

The average rate for residential care in Scotland is £639 per week (£33,228 per annum) and for nursing care is £852 per week (£44,304 per annum). Understandably, when faced with these figures people worry about how they will fund a move to care or nursing accommodation should this be required in the future.

Where the local authority has carried out a care needs assessment and finds you need a care or nursing home placement, a means tested Financial Assessment will be carried out.

How much will you pay?

This depends on your level of income and capital. The rules can be very complex and there are certain disregards which may apply in relation to whether your property and certain types of income (i.e. money from certain disability benefits and pensions) are included in the calculation. It is important to note that your income will be applied towards the cost of your care first and then topped up from capital subject to the rules outlined below. If you are in a care home, the local authority will disregard £27 per week of your income as your personal allowance, to be used for personal expenses (e.g. hairdressing/toiletries).

Over Upper Capital Threshold Limit


You will be considered to be “self funding” and will pay the full fees, subject to the availability of free personal care and free nursing care referred to below.
Between the Upper and Lower Capital Threshold Limits

£17,000 – £27,000

A tariff system operates and the Local Authority will pay for some of your care and you will contribute the rest.
Below Lower Capital Threshold Limit


Local Authority will pay for your care.


Financial Assistance in paying  care costs

In Scotland, Free Personal Care (FPC) is available to those aged 65+ providing they have been assessed as requiring this. It is available for older people living at home or in care or nursing accommodation. The current rate of FPC is £174 per week. Where you are living in care or nursing accommodation this will be paid direct to the care/nursing home as a contribution towards weekly fees. Where you have also been assessed as requiring nursing care, a “top up” of Free Nursing Care (FNC) is available to those living in a care home. The current rate of FNC is £79 per week. Again, this is paid directly to the care home towards your weekly fees.

Attendance Allowance is a non-means tested benefit which is intended to cover extra costs if you have a severe disability and require someone to look after you. You require to be physically and/or mentally disabled and 65+. Where you are self funding, you can still claim but note that you cannot claim both Attendance Allowance and FPC/FNC. Where you are living in a care home and the Local Authority are paying for your care your Attendance Allowance will stop. The Attendance Allowance Rates are currently £53.70 or £85.60 per week, depending on your level of needs.

Where you have paid sufficient National Insurance contributions, you will receive the full State Pension (SP) of £125.95 per week (basic SP for those claiming before 6/4/16) or £164.35 per week (basic SP for men born on or after 6/4/1951 and women born on or after 6/4/1953).

Should you have any further queries about care costs or require more information please contact a member of our experienced Private Client Team  who will be happy to help.

paying for residential care

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