Paying for your care

3 in 4 adults over the age of 65 in England will face care costs at some point in their lifetime

How much you will be expected to pay

Your care costs will typically be made up of your:

  • Personal care costs – the amount you pay for your carers to help with tasks such as dressing, bathing, going to the toilet.
  • Daily living costs – if you live in a care home for things such as food, rent, accommodation costs, and energy bills.

From October 2023 the amount you will have to pay for your personal care costs will be capped at £86,000, making it easier to plan ahead. This is equivalent to around three years in care.

If you are receiving care in a residential setting, your daily living costs are not included in this cap and will be payable after you have reached the cap. If you ask the local authority to commission your care, they will need to provide you with options where Daily Living Costs are no more than £200 per week. You can choose to pay more than this, if, for example you would like a nicer room.

How much you have to pay for your care depends on how much money and assets you have. This won’t include the value of your home if you or your partner still live in it. Your local authority will carry out an assessment to understand your individual care needs, how much your care will cost, and how much the council can contribute towards your care costs.

Lady sat in a chair in a care home

From October 2023 if you have savings and assets of:

Under £20,000

You won’t have to pay anything towards your care from your assets. However, you may still need to contribute from your income.

Between £20,000 and £100,000

Your local authority will assess what you can afford to pay from your savings and assets and may pay for some of your care. If you cannot afford to pay your full costs from your income, you will be expected to contribute up to £1 in every £250 from your chargeable assets above £20,000.

Over £100,000

You will be expected to meet the full cost of your care until you reach the cap.

Find out how to get an assessment from your local authority

How the changes may benefit you

Yusuf’s story

Yusuf is in his late 70s. He has lived on his own since his wife died from cancer ten years ago. When she died, he downsized from their family home in Hastings to a smaller property worth £180,000. As a result, he has £70,000 in savings. Yusuf develops dementia, can no longer cope at home and needs to move into residential care. His underlying health is good and he ultimately spends eight years living at the residential home. Yusuf’s care home costs £700 per week.

Under the current system Yusuf would spend about £293,000 on his care from his assets and his income, and as a result only have £72,000 left in assets.

Under the new system Yusuf hits the £86,000 cap after three years and four months. He no longer needs to contribute for his personal care from either his assets or his income. Beyond this, he will only have to contribute towards daily living costs. He is now left with £173,000, almost 70 per cent of his original assets. Over his whole care journey, Yusuf spends £123,000 less than under the current system.

Picture of Yusuf who is in his late 70's

Mary and Bob’s story

Mary is a pensioner living in Cheshire with her husband, Bob. Together, they own a home worth £90,000 and have joint savings of £10,000. They both worked hard throughout their lives, planned carefully for their retirement and have a joint weekly income from pensions of £762. Mary has dementia and receives care in their home, but Bob is her main carer. Sadly, after a year Bob suffers a severe stroke and both Bob and Mary need to enter residential care.

Under the current system If they both stayed in residential care for two years, Mary and Bob would have spent around £114,000 in total towards their care. They wouldn’t have got any state support until right at the end when they individually reached the Upper Capital Limit of £23,250, which would be based on half of their shared assets. They would be left with around £44,000 in assets.

Under the new system Once they both enter a care home, they immediately become eligible for some state support due to each of their £50,000 share of their wealth being below the new £100,000 Upper Capital Limit. Under the new system, they spend £66,000 in total for their care from their income and assets. Over their combined care journeys, Mary and Bob save £48,000 from their assets and their income in the new system compared to the current system.

Matt’s story

Matt is 40 years old and owns a home with his husband Tom in Tamworth worth £375,000. The couple have £38,000 in joint savings, which they were planning to use to pay down their mortgage. Matt suffers a traumatic brain injury after a bicycle accident and is no longer able to work. Tom provides Matt with all the care and support he can but Matt requires regular carers to help him with day-to-day activities while Tom is at work. 

Under the current system Matt would have to make a contribution towards the cost of his care from their joint savings, as well as from his benefit income. Matt and Tom will probably need to make some contribution towards the cost of Matt’s care for the rest of his life because there is no cap on costs.

Under the new system because Matt’s share of their savings is below £20,000 he only contributes towards the cost of his care from his benefits. Because he only spends about £85 per week, he won’t reach the cap for many years. However, when he does, he will no longer need to contribute towards his care from his assets or his income. This includes if his condition deteriorates and needs more intensive care.

Read our FAQs on paying for your care