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Care homes and benefits - Frequently asked questions

When you or a member of your family go to live in a care home, the benefits you get may change. What will happen to your benefits depends on the type of benefit you get and whether you are going into or out of a care home. Living in a care home can also affect the benefits your partner or carer gets and any benefits you get for your children.

Frequently asked questions

Will I still get my State Pension when I start living in a residential home?

You will still get your Basic State Pension or your New State Pension if you move to live in a care home. However, if your care home fees are paid in full or part by the local authority, NHS or out of other public funds, you may have to use your State Retirement Pension to pay a contribution to the cost of care. 

You should always be left with a weekly personal expenses allowance of at least:

England: £24.90
Scotland: £27.75
Wales: £29.50
Northern Ireland: £25.27 per week.

I was not getting any benefits when I moved to a care home because I was working before I became ill, can I claim benefits now I live in a care home?

If you were working when you became ill, you might be getting Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). This will be paid for the first 28 weeks that you are not able to work. You may also continue to get Working Tax Credit for the first 28 weeks if your income and savings are low and you have already been receiving tax credits.

If you are not entitled to SSP and are not able to work due to ill health and you are aged under state pension age, and you have made sufficient national insurance contributions you could claim Employment and Support Allowance

If you are not able to work due to ill health and you are aged under state pension age you could claim Universal Credit.

If you are over State Pension age you could claim Pension Credit. 

Please note that since 6 April 2010 State Pension age for women has been gradually increasing so that it will be the same as men's State Pension age by 2018. For more information, see our guide to the State Pension age changes.

If your income or savings are low enough, you might get help with rent or payments towards a mortgage or other home loan if you are only temporarily living in a care home. See our Housing Costs guide for benefits to help pay your rent, Council Tax or mortgage/home loan section.

If you are not getting Personal Independence Payment (PIP), or Attendance Allowance (AA), you can make a claim for them while living in a care home. If your care home fees are paid by the local authority, National Health Service (NHS) or out of other public funds, you will only be paid the daily living component of PIP, or AA if/when you move out of the care home. Although it can be paid if you come out of the care home or spend time living at home, for example on weekends or holidays.

If you qualify for the mobility component of PIP, it can be paid when you are living in a care home.


Updated: May 2019

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