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Paying for residential and nursing home care if you own property

In order to help you work out how much you have to pay towards care home fees, we carry out a financial assessment. This will take into account how much income you receive and what capital you have.

Any property you own will normally be included as one of your capital assets and there are situations where it may be necessary to sell your home in order to pay for your residential or nursing home care.

There are schemes in place that can help you to plan for the future. However they can seem very complicated and everyone's circumstances are different. That is why we strongly recommend that you contact us for advice about how you might be affected.

Disregarded Properties

Sometimes there are circumstances that mean we will 'disregard' the value of your property. It will not be counted if any of the following apply:

  • Your husband, wife or partner continues to live there
  • A relative aged 60 or over continues to live there
  • A relative under 60 who receives certain disability allowances continues to live there
  • A child under 16 you are financially responsible for continues to live there.


12-week Property Disregard

The decision to sell your home is a major one. This option aims to give you time to think about your future care before making any final decisions about your property. It means that for the first 12 weeks of long-term care we only ask you to pay a contribution towards your care fees and we will pay the rest, depending on the amount of income and savings that you have.

If these total over £23,250 you will not be eligible for this option and you will be expected to meet the full cost of your care home. The same applies if you sell your property during the 12 week period.

Deferred Payment Scheme

The aim of this scheme is to allow home owners to avoid selling their homes to pay for the cost of their ongoing care. With a deferred payment agreement you pay only the contribution towards your care fees that you would have made if your home was not counted as capital. We pay the balance and at the same time keep a record of what you actually owe, which is repaid in full to the council at the end of your life or whenever the property is finally sold. 

We would recommend that you get independent financial advice before entering into such a scheme and that you look into other ways of paying for your care.

Paying for more expensive accommodation

If you choose to go into a care home that is more expensive than we are prepared to pay, you will need to pay the extra costs with a 'top-up' fee. This extra amount can be paid by a friend or relative, or by some voluntary organisation. If you own property and sign a deferred payment agreement, then you can pay this extra amount yourself. However you must have enough equity in your house, to 'top up' your care for as long as you need it.

We advise you to talk to your Social Worker before you agree to pay for more expensive care because if you are not able to keep making the top-up payments you may have to move to another home and this can be upsetting and unsettling.

More information

There's more information available in this leaflet 'Financial information for people with property thinking of residential or nursing care'.  Or you can contact the Income and Assessment Team for help and advice, their details are below.

Useful contacts

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council (Income and Assessment Team)
Address: F Floor, Tower Block, King William Street, Blackburn, BB1 7DY
Phone: (01254) 588842

These different schemes can seem very complicated and everyone's circumstances are different. We strongly recommend that you contact us for free, confidential advice to see how you will be affected.

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