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The subject of paying for social care in the UK can be an intimidating and complex one, and having to deal with it can come at an emotional or stressful time.

This blog will set out in plain language what criteria you must meet to receive publicly funded adult social care, government changes to the system that come into force from October next year, and what you will still be expected to pay for out of your own pocket.

Care assessments

The first thing that needs to happen is an assessment to determine which kind of care your loved one requires: whether they need to be in a care home or if they can remain in their own property.

We can help you find the very best care home, matched to your loved one’s needs and requirements.

Alternatively, we can also help support your loved one with care at home with our committed, local Care Coordinators.

Paying for care

paying for care

Under the current system, someone who is identified as needing care in a care home after assessment will have to pay for it themselves if they have assets worth more than £23,250.

If the assessment results in them requiring care in their own home, the £23,250 limit remains, but no longer includes the value of their home.

If your loved one has assets worth less than £23,250 but more than £14,250, they will be charged a proportion of their care costs, on a sliding scale.

New government limits

From October 2023, this will change. Any adult of any age in England will only spend £86,000 on their personal care over their lifetime.

That means, for those who reach the £86,000 payment limit for care services, the government will take over payments from then on.

The upper capital limit, where people become eligible to receive some financial support from their local authority, will increase from the current £23,250 to £100,000.

That means it is possible those on lower incomes will spend a lot less on their care, while the government will make up the payments.

Plus, the £14,250 threshold will be increased to £20,000, so anyone with assets worth between £20,000 and £100,000 will face paying a sliding scale of costs.

Breaking it down

Assets worth more than the upper capital limit (£100,000 from October 2023)

Full cost – you are a self-funder.

Between the capital limits

What you can afford from income plus a means-tested ‘tariff’ contribution from assets. The tariff is calculated as follows: for every £250 of capital between the lower and upper limit, an income of £1 a week is assumed, and this will be payable towards the cost of your care.

Below the lower capital limit (£20,000 from October 2023)

You no longer contribute from your assets and only what you can afford from your income.

Do I have to pay care costs from my income?


Even if a person requiring care doesn’t have enough assets to pay towards the cost of care, they may have to contribute via any income they receive.

If your loved one is in a care home, for example, they would be expected to pay all their income, apart from £24.90 per week, toward their care costs.

For those receiving care in their own home, they would pay all their care costs, apart from an amount no more than the Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG). This varies according to age and other circumstances.

Inflation linked

The MIG has, historically, not been linked to inflation but the good news is the MIG and the Personal Expenses Allowance in care homes will both increase with inflation from April 2022.

Exceptions to the rules…

The new, more generous limit will only apply to the costs of a care home their local authority is willing to pay for, irrespective of convenience or preference.

The same applies for anyone receiving care services in their home, the limit would only cover the time local authorities think they require and at the price they are willing to pay.

It’s worth noting people’s daily living costs – including after they reach the £86,000 cap – would not be covered. Remember, these are likely to change with inflation over time.

Let us help with your care journey

happy grandmother

We will make sure your loved one, client or patient recieves the very best local care and support throughout their entire care journey.

We have lots of experience undertaking assessments and we pride ourselves on a 48-hour turnaround from first contact to completion.

To find out more, call us on 01778 219639, email agecareadvice.team@nhs.net or use this contact form and we’ll get back to you the same day.

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