Paying for residential or nursing care

Most people who move into a care home will need to pay something toward the cost of their care. If you are assessed as having to be placed in a care home by Islington social services, you will need to complete a financial assessment.

Financial assessment

Your financial assessment will decide how much you need to contribute to the cost of the care home. The amount you pay depends on your financial circumstances.

We follow government guidelines to work out your contribution. If you have savings over £23,250 you will have to pay for the cost of your care in full.

Residential or nursing care placement types

Although there will be a charge for most types of care home placement arranged by social services, there are certain types of placements which are free or involve reduced charges. These include if you are:

  • Placed in a nursing home by a health professional from NHS Islington because you need long term health care

  • Placed in a nursing home under section 117 of the Mental Health Act

  • Placed in a nursing home and have some of your nursing funded by the NHS

  • Placed in a care home on a short term basis as part of your intermediate care

For more information on the types of placements, please see this PDF of information called charges for care homes

Understanding your financial circumstances

You will need to complete a financial circumstances form if you cannot afford the cost of the care home placement. The more information and evidence that you provide about your finances, the easier it is for us to make the right assessment and see if you are entitled to financial help from the council.

You can complete the financial circumstances form online, which will be sent directly to our Assessment and Income Recovery Team.

Financial information you need to provide

The financial circumstances form asks for details of your income and capital, including any property you own.

  • Income - Your income means the benefits you claim, private pensions paid and other regular income you have

  • Capital - Your capital means your savings, money from investments, stocks and shares, the value of your property or land you may own part own (whether it's in the UK or not)

  • Property - The value of your interest in your property is a capital asset. It will only be taken into account after twelve weeks from the first day that you have received permanent residential care from a local authority.

We won't take the value of your property into account, if it is still occupied by:

  • Your partner or, in some circumstances, your former partner

  • A relative or member of your family who is aged 60 or over, or is incapacitated, or who is a child under 18 who you are required to care for

For more detailed information about how much you pay toward the cost of a care home, please see charges for care homes.

Providing information about your financial circumstances

It is very important that you provide all of the details asked for on the financial assessment. If you do not, we cannot work out if you are entitled to financial help and the council will not be able to pay toward the cost of the care home. In this case, we will ask you to pay the full cost of your placement.

Deferred payment agreement

If the value of your home takes your capital assets above £23,250 then you may be able to apply for a deferred payment agreement.

A deferred payment agreement can mean that you do not have to sell your former home to fund your care home place straight away, or even in your lifetime.
You will still have to pay the full cost of your care home placement, under a deferred payment agreement, but only part of the payment is collected now.

The part payment collected now is worked out on the basis of your financial assessment. The remainder of the cost of your care is charged against your property and is collected on the sale of the property in the future.

Paying for more expensive accommodation 

If you want to go into a care home which is more expensive than Islington Council will pay for, then a willing friend or relative can make a financial contribution toward the higher fee. These contributions are known as 'third party top ups'. We will need evidence that the person paying the top up is able to afford it and they will need to enter into a legally binding contract before we can agree to the arrangement.

It is not possible for the person going into the care home to top up their own care home placement, unless they are signed up to a deferred payment scheme.

For more information on third party top ups, see our PDF called charges for care homes.

Getting advice

For further information on paying for residential and nursing care, contact the Financial Assessment and Income Recovery Team on 020 7527 2178 or email  

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