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Care homes and benefits - Introduction

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.

Introduction

Some benefits can still be paid when you live in a care home. Some stop being paid once you, your partner or your child has been living in a care home for a set period of time. Others are reduced if they included amounts for your partner or a child.

Applies to: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Please note: This is a complicated area and we recommend that you seek advice from an expert benefits adviser about your particular circumstances. You can use our Find an Adviser tool to find a local adviser.


You should tell whoever pays you benefits (e.g. Jobcentre Plus, the Pension Service, Disability Benefit Unit, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or the local authority) that you have moved to live in a care home. You should do this before you have been in it for 28 days as none of your welfare benefits will stop or go down in the first 28 days. They can then make any changes that need to be made so that you are not paid too much or too little.

If you own your home, its value could affect the amount of means-tested benefits you are able to get when you move into a care home. In some cases this means you are not able to get any means-tested benefits. The rules are complicated and there are several ways that the value of your home can be ignored for a period of time. If you are in this position, it is important to get advice. Use our Find an Adviser tool to find a local adviser.

It is important to remember that although the benefit rules state how much benefit you will get when living in a care home, you may have to use some of the money you get from benefits to pay your care home fees. Unless you are funding yourself, the local authority will add your benefit income to your other income when working out how much you should pay towards the care home fees.

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

England: £24.90
Scotland: £25.05
Wales: £25.50
Northern Ireland: £24.90 per week.

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