Paying For Home Care – Live In Care & Respite Care Funding


When considering the cost of home care, media reports often focus on the amount you will have to pay as opposed to how those costs will be met, which is why we have created this home care funding guide for you. This can leave readers feeling fearful rather than well-informed. We think that it’s more helpful and constructive to look at the various funding options available – putting you on the front foot when it comes to making important decisions about paying for home care and need funding.

At Helpd, we focus on putting people in control of their home care, live in care, respite care choices as we believe it ultimately delivers a better outcome. This paying for home care funding guide is designed to provide a straightforward way to inform you of what funding assistance is available, how to find out if you’re eligible, and how to apply. We’ve also included a list of helpful publications and websites so that you can take your next steps with confidence.

Every home care, whether it be live in care, night care and respite care has been taken to ensure that the information provided in this guide is correct at point of publication. For definitive answers on eligibility and availability of live in care funding, always speak to the funding agency involved – links to the relevant organisations are provided throughout the document.

home care funding


What it is:

Funding provided by the NHS.


Where a person’s primary need is a ‘health need’, the NHS is regarded as responsible for providing and fully funding all their needs in any setting, including:

  • a hospice
  • a care home
  • your own home

In England you have two choices for CHC funding:

  • The NHS can arrange care for you
  • The NHS will make payments direct to you in the form of a ‘personal health budget’ (PHB)

If you receive a PHB, it is then up to you to select, and pay for, the relevant care.

NB. Personal health budgets are not available in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Need to know

Not means tested

Not restricted to care home environments

Payment can be made to the care provider or directly to you


Eligibility is not means tested but is subject to assessment by a team of healthcare professionals (a ‘multi-disciplinary team’).

How to apply:

Ask your GP or social worker to arrange an assessment for you.

Useful information:


What it is:

Funding provided by your Local Authority to contribute to your care costs.


If you require support with carrying out day-to-day tasks in your own home due to ill-health, frailty, after being discharged from hospital, or you need assistance in moving into a care home, your Local Authority may contribute fully or partially towards the costs of paying for care at home. This could include:

  • meals
  • carers
  • transport
  • equipment
  • modifications to your home

Need to know

Equipment or home Equipment or home adaptations that cost less than £1,000 are free


Eligibility is means tested. If you have savings of more than the following amounts, you will have to pay for your own care:

England £23,250
Wales £24,000 (care at home) or £40,000 (care in a care home)
Scotland £27,250
Northern Ireland £23,250
Correct as of July 2018. Source

How to apply:

Contact your local authority to request a free care needs assessment. You can use this link to find out where your nearest Local Authority Needs Assessment service is.

Useful links:


What it is:

Funding provided by the NHS towards the cost of nursing or medical care within a care home.


If you are fully or partially paying care home fees and receiving care from a registered nurse or doctor, the NHS may contribute towards the costs of your treatment. The payment is made directly to the care home.


Eligibility is not means tested but is instead based on assessment of needs.

Need to know

Funding is £158.16 per week across England

Payment is made directly to the care home

paying for live in care


What it is:

Funding provided by government to contribute towards care costs.


If you are aged 65 or older and have a disability which means that you need someone to help look after you, the government will make a weekly payment to contribute towards the cost of your care. The allowance has two payment rates dependent on the outcome of your assessment.

Need to know

Does not affect other benefits that you may be in receipt of be

Not means tested

Weekly payment rate Level of help required
Lower rate £57.30 Frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night.
Higher rate £85.60 Help or supervision throughout both day and night, or if you’re terminally ill.
Scotland £27,250
Source correct as of July 2018.


Attendance Allowance is not means tested – it is open to anyone aged 65 or over who fulfils the following criteria:

  • a physical disability, a mental disability, or both
  • a disability severe enough to need help caring for yourself
  • a disability severe enough to need someone to supervise you for your own safety
  • have needed help for at least 6 months

Special rules apply for people who are terminally ill and are not expected to live for more than six months.

Attendance Allowance does not apply if you live in a care home unless you pay all of the care home costs yourself.

How to apply:

Download, complete and post the Attendance Allowance form. The form, and postal address can be found here:

Alternatively, call the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122 to request a form.

Useful links:


What it is:

A financial contribution towards some, or all, of your care costs from a charity.


Charity-backed funding can be awarded in cases of severe financial hardship, life-changing events that result in financial hardship or if you have previously been a member of an organisation such as the Armed Forces or NHS. Typically, funding is awarded in the form of a grant – this could be one-off to help with the purchase of equipment or to assist with the ongoing cost of care.

Need to know

May not affect benefits you are already in receipt of


Eligibility will vary depending on the charity involved. Because there are so many charities that offer support, we recommend that you first visit Turn2Us – – an excellent resource where you can search for grants based upon your location, health condition, financial circumstances and current / previous occupation.

Here’s just two examples of the kind of search results you can expect:

Age 65 72
Gender Female Male
Former Occupation Midwife Agriculture / farmer
Location Berkshire Oxfordshire
Condition Arthritis Blood disorder
Charities NHS Pensioner’s Trust
Ethel Mary Fletcher Fund
Royal College of Midwives Trust
The Nightingale Fund
+ 18 others
Unite the Union Benevolent Fund
The Provision Trade Charity
Bristol Corn Trade Guild
Worshipful Company of Farriers Charitable Trust
+ 12 others

How to apply:

Application rules will be dependent upon the individual charities involved.

Useful links:

Turn2Us – a charity that provides practical help to people in financial difficulty

Carers Trust – a charity that helps carers connect with resources that will help them or the people that they are caring for


What it is:

Care funding paid as the result of a claim against an insurance policy.


An often-overlooked source of funding is insurance – it’s important to check policies prior to paying for care services as some insurers may not make retrospective payments.

Policies that may cover care home costs include:

  • Life insurance with critical illness cover
  • A joint policy that covers illness
  • Terminal illness cover connected to a mortgage policy
  • An over-50s plan


Dependent on the terms of the insurance policy.

do you pay for respite care

How to apply:

Again, dependent on the terms of the insurance policy.

Useful information:

The Money Advice Service provides excellent advice via the following link on how to make insurance claims and what to do if they are refused:

Need to know

Some insurers will not make retrospective payments


The great news for anyone seeking help with care funding is that there are lots of organisations who are willing to assist. This also applies if you have been turned down for funding – particularly in the case of NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC). We’ve broken the options down into services that are free, and specialist services that may need to be paid for.


Your Local NHS Trust

For funding provided via the NHS, you can contact your local NHS trust. To find your nearest one, visit: nearest one, visit:


Which? offers an excellent source of help on all aspects of elderly living – from benefits to care home
costs. Visit for an at-a-glance view of resources and support available. They also have a care advice calculator which helps to narrow down its vast resources into the ones that are most appropriate to you or your relative at his precise
moment in time:

home care funding


If you have any questions about the contents of this guide, or on how you can gain greater control of your care choices, we’d be happy to help. Contact us on 0118 449 2373 or visit


Specialist service providers range from social enterprises to law firms. Below we’ve provided a selection of organisations that demonstrate the variety of options available.

Fixed Fee – Social Enterprise

Beacon is a social enterprise operating on not-for-profit basis. They charge a fixed fee for their services which, according to their website, is 50% lower than commercial 50% lower than commercial 50% lower than commercial 50% lower than commercial 50% lower than commercial providers. They also offer free advice on behalf of NHS England.

Fixed Fee – Commercial Enterprise

Compass continuing Healthcare provide specialist advice and support on securing care funding, operating on a fixed-fee basis.

No Win No Fee – Law Firm

Hugh James specialises in securing refunds in cases where people have been paying care home costs when they are, in fact, entitled to Continuing Healthcare. It offers an initial free assessment and operates on a ‘no win fee’ basis.

paying for care at home


In the case of NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC), you can contest the decision. Your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Health Board, or Health and Social Care Trust can assist you. You can also ask them to review their decision.

To find your local CCG, visit:

If you are still unhappy with the decision after it has been reviewed, you can escalate your case to the Parliamentary and Health Service ombudsman at The ombudsman investigates each case for free and promises to act “fairly and without taking sides.”

paying for care at home


Whilst arranging care, and care funding, can feel like an overwhelming task, the amount and variety of support available should provide you with a degree of comfort that you’re not on your own. Our aim with this guide is to help make your path towards finding care funding for you or your loved one simpler and better informed.

To learn more about our services, and how we could connect you to care on your own terms please visit or call us on 0118 449 2373.


Age UK |

The UK’s largest charity dedicated to providing free help and advice to older people.

FirstStop |

Independent, impartial, free advice and information for older people and their families on housing and care options for later life.

The Money Advice Service |

Free, impartial, money advice, set up and backed by UK Government.

Society of Later Life Advisors |

A not-for-profit organisation that helps people and their families find trusted accredited financial advisers who understand financial needs in later life.

home care funding

NHS Funding for Care and Support |

A document that includes a clear step-by-step description of the CHC assessment process by EAC FirstStop.

Grants and Other Sources of Funding by Carers Trust