Local Authority support for care


Local Authorities can help with the costs of care – but the financial support they provide is limited.

This support is means tested, so if you have assets or savings over a certain threshold, they will not contribute towards the cost of your care.

Does where I live in the UK affect how much support I could receive?

Yes - the maximum amount you can have in savings and capital and still receive financial support from a Local Authority differs depending on where you are in the UK. The current limits are as follows:

UK local authority capital and savings limits

  Upper limit Lower limit
England £23,250 £14,250
Scotland £26,250 £16,250
Wales £24,000 £24,000
Northern Ireland £23,250 £14,250

 

Even if your savings and capital are less than these thresholds, your Local Authority will still expect you to use whatever income you receive to help cover the costs of your care.

So, if you live in England or Northern Ireland and have total savings and/or capital (including any property, investments or other assets) worth more than £23,250, you will normally be expected to pay your own care costs in full.

If you live in England or Northern Ireland and your savings and capital are worth less than £14,250, your Local Authority will make up any shortfall in the cost of your ‘eligible care’ for you.

However, if you live in England or Northern Ireland with savings and capital between £14,250 and £23,250, a sliding scale of support applies. This is based on you contributing £1 a week for every £250 of your savings/assets between the lower threshold and upper threshold.

Therefore, if you have assets of £20,000, this would mean

£20,000 - £14,250 = a difference of £5,750

(Assets) - (Lower limit) = (Difference)

And then...

£5,750 / £250 = £23

(Difference) / (£250) = (Your required contribution per week)

So as a result, this would mean that you would need to contribute £23 per week towards the cost of your care, in addition to your income. Your Local Authority would then make up any shortfall in the cost of your ‘eligible care’.

I'm not sure if I'm eligible for support - what should I do?

Whatever care you require, and whether or not you can afford to pay for it, your local authority has an obligation to conduct an assessment to determine your needs. If in doubt, the best thing to do is contact your local authority as well as speaking to your financial adviser.

It's also worth mentioning that you may be eligible for benefits from the NHS or the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Again, it is best to speak to your financial adviser to find out more.