Paying for a care home

Fees charged by care homes, whether it includes nursing or not, will vary. You may be able to pay the full fees yourself or you may need some help towards costs from us.

Help with costs

If you can't pay the fees yourself you'll need to have a needs assessment first, to determine whether your needs should be met in a care home. 

If you're eligible, your details will be referred for a financial assessment and we will ask you to provide a statement of your financial resources.

The financial assessment will work out how much you need to pay towards the care home costs and how much the council will pay.

To request an assessment, contact Access Point, the contact centre for Adult Social Care services.                  

How we work out what you pay

We look at several aspects of your finances when working out what you'll pay for a care home or care home with nursing – your savings and capital and your income.

Your savings and capital

If you have savings or capital more than £23,250 you'll have to pay the full cost of your care home.

If you own your own home its value will usually be counted as capital after 12 weeks of moving permanently to a care home. However, it may not be taken into account in some cases if a relative continues to live there.

If you own your own property, and you don't want to sell it yet you may be eligible for a deferred payment agreement. This is an arrangement with the council that allows you to use the value of your home to help pay care home costs. Find out more about deferred payment agreements. 

If your savings are below £23,250 but more than £14,250, there will be a weekly charge in addition to income. This is calculated at £1 per week for every £250 (or part) you have above £14,250.

Your income

We look at your income when working out how much you need to pay for care home charges. This may include:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • State Retirement Pension
  • Superannuation and other private pensions
  • Employment Support Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Industrial Injuries Benefit
  • War pensions
  • PIP
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance (care component) 
  • net earnings
  • sick pay
  • income from non-dependant relatives and boarders
  • rental income
  • annuities and trust income
  • any other available income.

Note: Disability Living Allowance (mobility component) is not taken into account.

Allowances and deductions

After we've looked at your savings, capital and income, we then make allowances against your income. 

All residents are entitled to keep a personal allowance of £24.90 per week.

A further £10 is disregarded for people in receipt of war injury pensions, war widow or widower pensions and war disablement pensions.

Savings Credit is disregarded up to £5.75 per week depending upon the amount received.

Further allowances may be made in some cases, for example for short-term care, the cost of maintaining your property may be allowed for a limited period. This may include rent, mortgage, water charges and council tax.

The amount you'll pay is worked out by adding together any capital charge with the income charge, less the allowances.


Check that you are getting all of the benefits you are entitled to.with the Department of Work and Pensions.

Your benefit entitlements may change after you move to a care home so it is advisable to notify the Department for Work and Pensions of your change in circumstances. For example, Attendance Allowance is not payable after the first four weeks of being in hospital or a care home.

If you're unable to contact the Department for Work and Pensions yourself and have no-one who can help you, contact the council’s Financial Assessment Team on 01273 295660.

Contact us

Working out what to pay for a residential care home or a nursing home can be complex. If you have any questions, or if you need help to complete a financial statement, please get in touch.

Financial Assessment Team
Adult Social Care
Second Floor, Bartholomew House
Bartholomew Square
Brighton BN1 1JE

Additional information

Download and print out information about residential care home costs. Find out more about how we calculate costs for care homes and care homes with nursing (PDF 149KB).

Other useful websites

The Money Advice Service provides information about care home costs.

Age UK
Call: 01273 720603

Carers Centre for Brighton & Hove
Call: 01273 746222

Disability Advice Centre
Call: 01273 296744