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Will the local council pay for my homecare?

If your local council carries out a care needs assessment and agrees that you're eligible for care and support at home, they will do a means test. This will take into account your income and savings. Unless you’re going into a care home, this won’t take into account the value of your property.

Here’s how the means test for social care will look at your income and savings, and how this will affect what you pay for care.


Your capital and what you will have to pay -


Over £23,250

You have to pay your own fees as a 'self-funder'.


Between £14,250 and £23,250


You qualify for financial support from the council and pay a contribution from your income – such as pensions – plus a 'tariff income' based on your capital.

If all your eligible income is taken into account in your means test, you must be left with an income of £189.00 per week, if you’re single and above Pension Credit qualifying age. This is known as the Minimum Income Guarantee.

If you’re eligible for financial support to pay for homecare, your local council can arrange homecare services for you. Alternatively, you can choose to receive direct payments and arrange homecare yourself.

Apply for a needs assessment by social services

Direct payments

Are a way for you to take control of your personal budget – i.e. the money the council agree to pay towards your care (government contributions).  These payments allow you to choose for yourself how you want to spend your funding. Anyone with a personal budget is entitled to apply for direct payments.

With traditional local authority funding – the council will manage your personal budget and arrange care on your behalf.

While both traditional local authority funding and direct payments ensure your loved one will receive ongoing financial support. Direct payments mean that rather than having to construct a care plan with another party, they can use this money however they see fit. This gives your family more choice, control and flexibility over how you meet their care needs.

To find out whether you’re eligible for direct payments, you need to get in touch with your local council and complete the same funding assessment as above. Remember that your eligibility is once again affected by the value of assets.

How do I access homecare?


If you’re having trouble with everyday tasks such as washing, cooking or getting dressed, ask your local council for a care needs assessment. This works out what would help you stay independent at home for longer. With your permission, your carer, GP, or district nurse can refer you for an assessment on your behalf.

If you’re being discharged from hospital, the staff on your ward can arrange homecare services to make sure you’re safe and properly supported at home, or to help rehabilitate you. A social worker should lead on the planning of your future care and support.


Find out more about how to access home care after hospital discharge NHS

How much does it cost to pay for my own homecare?

If you’re paying fees yourself (called self-funding), then you will arrange and pay for your own care, but your local council should provide advice to support you.

Costs for homecare vary across the country, but average around £25 per hour. You can use this cost of care and eligibility in England tool to get an estimate for care costs in your area.


To find a homecare agency


Your local adult social services department should be able to provide you with details of approved private agencies.

Ask friends or relatives for recommendations.

Can I get financial support to pay for my homecare?

Make sure you’re claiming all the benefits you’re entitled to.

Attendance Allowance is a benefit for people over State Pension age who need extra help to stay independent at home, due to an illness or disability.

If you’re under State Pension age, you may be eligible for Personal Independence Payment instead

If you have a carer, they could be eligible for Carer’s Allowance.


These benefits aren’t means-tested, so don't take into account your income and savings

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