2 Capital limits for care homes

Not everyone is eligible for local authority funding, but many people will be able to get some kind of financial support. It all depends on the amount of capital (savings and assets) your relative has, as well as their income.

  • If your relative lives in England or Northern Ireland and has capital of less than £14,250 (2016-17), they will be entitled to maximum support. Anyone receiving full funding will have to contribute all of their income (including benefits, which they must claim) to the local authority, except for the personal expenses allowance.
  • If your relative has between £14,250 and £23,250 in capital, they have to contribute towards their fees. They will have to pay £1 for every £250 of their savings between £14,250 and £23,250. This is known as ‘tariff income’ and they will also need to contribute all of their income towards the fees, except for the personal expenses allowance.
  • If your relative has capital of more than £23,250, they will need to use that capital to pay the full cost of their care. If your relative has less than £23,250 in capital, but a weekly income high enough to cover their care home fees, they will be liable for all of their care home fees.

In Scotland, things work in the same way, although the lower and upper capital limits are £16,250 and £26,250 (2016-17). In addition, anyone over 65 assessed as needing care in a care home is eligible to claim personal care payments, and possibly also nursing care payments, to contribute towards the cost of their care (people under 65 may be eligible for nursing care payments). These are: 

  • £171 per week for personal care 
  • £78 per week for nursing care
  • £249 for personal and nursing care. 

These amounts can only be paid once the council has made a contract with the care home, and payments are usually made directly to the care home.

In Wales, there is just one limit: £24,000 (2016-17). If your relative has savings above this, they will have to pay all of the care home fees. If they have savings below this limit, they will not have to contribute from their capital, but will be expected to contribute from their income.