Last updated:
27 October 2017

Paying for residential care

Find out about funding to pay for a care home.

1 Meeting the costs

In West Sussex many people (around 60%) needing care in a care home are able to meet the costs themselves from their investments, savings, benefits, pension and other income.

Others with more limited finances may be eligible for financial help towards the cost of care from the County Council.

Local authority funded places

If you need residential or nursing care, and we have agreed to give you financial help, you may choose where you want to live.

The home you choose must be one that:

  • will enter into a contract with the County Council
  • is within our financial limit of support for your assessed level of need
  • has a vacancy.

People who are assessed as needing residential or nursing care, and who are eligible for financial support from the County Council, normally have their places paid for at the usual maximum rates.

Enhanced rates are paid for homes within all of the Northern area and those homes in the Western area listed in the Care Guide under Midhurst, Pulborough and Billingshurst.

Paying for yourself

If you are funding your care home fees yourself, you can apply directly to the home of your choice. You are strongly advised to seek the help of an independent financial adviser specialising in long term care.

You may wish to find out more about the Carewise care funding scheme. If you only have enough money to pay your own fees for a short time, it is advisable to have a social care assessment. This is because we can only help with your fees in the future if:

  • we have had an assessment discussion with you
  • the home of your choice is suitable for your needs 
  • the fees are no more than we would normally expect to pay.

2 How much you will have to pay

If we agree you need care in a residential or nursing home, you may be entitled to receive financial help from us.

The amount we will ask you to contribute is related to how much you are able to pay, so we won’t ask you to pay an amount you can’t afford.

If you do not need financial support from us, and would like to arrange and pay for your own residential or nursing care, you can still ask a social care worker for advice.

  • If you have less than £23,250 in savings and investments (not including the value of your home) you are likely to be entitled to financial help.
  • If you have more than £23,250 in savings or investments (capital) you should still talk to a social care worker.

You may be entitled to help if your financial circumstances change. There is a maximum amount that we will pay to the home, including your assessed contribution, based on your level of need.

To find out more refer to the booklet ‘Choosing and paying for care in a residential or nursing home' below.

3 Care home fees

The level of fees charged by care homes varies considerably, so it is sensible to compare one home with another. Check what the fees cover and what you would have to pay for - the cost of newspapers, personal toiletries and dry cleaning are often not included.

It is important you ensure that you are able to afford your future care fees. If your investments and savings fall below £23,250 you may become eligible for financial support from the local authority.

We would fund your care at the usual rates set out in document below, however, we may pay fee levels higher than these rates for people who have specialist care needs.

4 Funded nursing care

If you are living in a care home that provides nursing, or are planning to move into one, you may be eligible for the NHS-funded nursing care payment if you need care from a registered nurse.

Through the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the NHS meets the costs of a registered nurse providing, arranging or supervising care. The CCG will make the payment direct to the care home.

If you receive nursing care and you are not eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare, a nurse will assess your needs to see if you are eligible for NHS-Funded Nursing Care, known as FNC.

The NHS will pay £155.05 a week towards the cost of the nursing care you need.

The rate above applies from April 2017 and the amount may change annually.

5 Find out more

You can find more information in our Care Guide.

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