Charging for Residential Care

Charging for Residential Care

This information page contains information about how Rochdale Borough Council (RBC) works out charges for care provided in residential and nursing homes.

There are lots of complex rules regarding residential care charges, and although this information page covers the key information, it doesn't contain all of the rules.

Detailed guidance on the application of these regulations is laid out in the Care Act 2014 and Care and Support (Charging and Assessment of Resources) Regulations 2014.


We decide whether you are eligible for care and support based on guidelines set by the Government.

If you are not eligible for care and support we will tell you why and will provide information about other organisations that can support you.

Do you need residential care?

If you are considering moving into a care home and think you may need help with the cost of this, we first need to confirm that you are eligible for our support.

To do this, we will complete a needs assessment over the telephone or face to face.

An assessment is an opportunity for you to tell us about your situation and discuss your care and support needs with us.

This will help us to decide if you really do need to go into a care home or if there are other kinds of support available to help you stay in your own home.

Before we are able to give you any help towards paying for your residential or nursing care, your needs assessment must show that you need these services.

We will tell you if we agree that you need residential or nursing care and how much we are able to pay for the type of care home that will meet your care and support needs.

Even if you think you will have to fully fund your stay in a care home it is still advisable to contact us and, if appropriate, arrange for a needs assessment.

This will help you to decide if there are any alternatives to going into a care home and whether we will fund the cost of your care if your funds later fall below the capital threshold.

We cannot usually fund care homes that cost more than our current price guidelines.

Financial assessment

Once it has been decided that you need residential or nursing care we will work out how much you can pay towards the cost of it.

We do this by carrying out a financial assessment

A financial assessment looks at your capital and your weekly income to see how much you can pay towards the cost of your residential or nursing home care.

Your capital includes:
  • Most savings and investments
  • The value of any property or land you may own or partly own, including in other countries. *

Your income includes:
  • Most pensions and welfare benefits
  • Any other money you may have coming in
  • An assumed level of income from any savings and investments

The financial assessment is carried out by one of our trained Assessment and Benefits Officers, and may take place in your home or over the telephone.

The Assessment and Benefits Officers will also tell you about the kinds of welfare benefits you are able to claim

When we work out your contribution we will assume you have this income (even if you decide not to claim it) and take it into account.

Some of the welfare benefits that you may receive are affected when you move into a care home. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will need to know if you are in residential care (whether temporary or permanent).

It is your responsibility to tell the Department of Work and Pensions about any change in your circumstances including hospital admissions, change of address and if you moving into residential care.

After we have completed your financial assessment we will write to you to give you information about what you will need to pay.

How much will you need to pay?

First, we will look at your finances to see how much capital (savings, investments etc.) you have.

If you have over £23,250 in capital then you will need to pay the full cost of your residential or nursing care.

If you have less than £23,250 in capital then we will look at your weekly income to see how much you need to pay towards the cost of your residential or nursing care.

In addition to your weekly income, if you have capital between £14,250 and £23,250 we will add your weekly income to an assumed income of £1 per week for every £250 (or part of £250) over £14,250 of that capital.

This is known as tariff income. For example, if you have £17,000 in investments, this means that:

Your investments £17,000 minus Capital Threshold £14,250 = £2,750
£2,750 / £250 = 11. This means that we will add £11 to your weekly income based on your investments. We will add up all the income that we are allowed to take into account.

There will always be a small part of your income which you can keep for your personal use. This called your personal expenses allowance and is currently £24.90 per week.

In addition, both temporary and permanent care home residents may, in exceptional circumstances, be allowed extra allowances to cover certain housing and other costs.

We will help you to pay the cost of your care, if you have less than £23,250 in capital and your weekly income is less than the weekly cost of a care home

Is the value of your own home included?

We will not include the value of your home when we look at your capital in the following circumstances:
  • If your stay in residential care is temporary
  • For the first 12 weeks of a permanent stay in residential care funded through us.

During this period you will still need to pay towards the cost of your residential care based on your other capital and income (excluding the value of your home).

The 12 week property disregard only applies whilst your property remains unsold. After the first 12 weeks we will include the value of your home when we work out your capital unless it is occupied by:
  • Your spouse or partner (Including same sex partners)
  • Your estranged/divorced partner if they are a lone parent with a dependent child
  • A relative who is aged over 60 or incapacitated
  • Your child under the age of 18

We do have discretion to disregard the value of your home in exceptional circumstances. Your case manager or Assessment and Benefits Officer will be able to discuss this with you.

You will not be entitled to a 12 week property disregard if you have been self-funding your care in a residential home for longer than 12 weeks.

What if you own your own home with somebody else?

Once your stay in a residential or nursing home becomes permanent we will work out your share of the value of your home and add this amount to any other capital you may have, for example:

You jointly own your home with your adult son who doesn't live there. The total value of the house is £100,000 and you own 60% of the property.

We will work out that your 60% share is worth £60,000 minus 10% (this is the standard deduction for the expense of the sale).

This means that you are assessed as having £54,000.

If you are unhappy with the figure that we arrive at by this method you do have the right to ask us to arrange for a specialist valuer to value your share of the property. We will then use the figure provided to us by the specialist valuer.

Paying the care home

We will pay the care home our contribution towards the cost of your care, you (or someone on your behalf) will be asked by the care home to pay the contribution we have advised you of directly to the home.

A top up payment may be required if you choose a care home setting which is more expensive than the Council's normal weekly rate.

Top ups

A top up or third party payment is where there is a difference between the care home charge and the amount of money the Council will contribute.

The shortfall is called a top up and is normally paid by a relative or other person.

If you choose to pay a top-up you will be required to sign a legal tripartite agreement between the Council, the care home and yourself or the third party.

The top up is paid directly by you to the care home.

Who can give advice about care home fees?

Most people who have had a needs assessment and are eligible to receive care and support services from Rochdale Borough Council have made a financial contribution towards the cost of the services they receive.

There are several ways to pay for care. For example, people who have moved into residential care can have a deferred payment agreement if they are eligible which means they do not have to sell their home to fund their care until they choose to do so.  

How you choose to contribute towards the cost of your care and support depends on your personal circumstances and personal choice, but as the population ages more people will need some form of care and support and will want to plan how they will fund this.

Some people find it helpful to speak to a professional about their finances.

If you would like to speak to someone about what choices are available to you then there are plenty of sources of financial advice, these includes:
  • Charities
  • Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs)

Sometimes you might have to pay a fee for the advice

Further Information

Rochdale Borough Council is unable to offer or recommend which organisations or Independent Financial Advisors people should approach.

The following organisations can provide advice:

What help is available if you can not access your capital?

In some cases, you could have more than £23,250 in capital but you may not be able to currently access this money (for example if you haven't managed to sell your home.) If this applies to you, we have a scheme that may be able to help you, the deferred payments scheme.

This scheme involves the Council temporarily paying some of your residential or nursing home fees.  There are costs associated with this scheme and you can find out more information by visiting the deferred payment information page: 
Deferred Payments

What happens if you have health needs?

If your assessment shows that you need nursing home care you may be eligible for NHS-funded nursing care. This is care provided by a registered nurse and the NHS will pay a flat rate contribution directly to the care home.

If your assessment shows that you have a primary health need you may be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare which is a package of care that is arranged and funded solely by the NHS.

Sometimes, the NHS will pay for this care in settings other than a care home. Please ask your case manager to explain this more fully.