Paying for care is easier than you think

By using our care funding calculator and four-step plan, paying for care isn't as daunting as you might think.



Get clarity on paying for care

Start by using our funding calculator to get clarity on the funding options that are most suited to your situation. Take a few minutes, answer a few details about your care needs and financial situation, and it’ll give you a good idea of where to start. Before you start applying for funding, be sure to read through our four-step plan below.

Our four-step plan to pay for care

When approaching care funding for the first time, it can all feel a bit overwhelming. You may not know where’s best to start. After helping thousands of families with their care funding options, we’ve devised a simple, four-step strategy to getting the money you deserve.

Step 1– Get the benefits you’re entitled to

These are the simplest ways to maximise income. There is usually very little friction in terms of application, and much more people are eligible than claim. This can help you to afford the care you want.

Billions of pounds go unclaimed each year – make sure you’re not missing out. Key benefits to look at include Attendance Allowance, Pension Credit, Carer’s Allowance, and council tax rate relief.

Step 2 – Check your eligibility for NHS funding

This is a funding stream that covers all your care costs. It’s paid by your local NHS and is available for those who need support with long-term health needs.

NHS funding is the most difficult type of funding to get. However, should you qualify, you’re able to get your full care costs covered – so it’s worth starting with.

To do this, speak with your GP – asking for an NHS Continuing Healthcare Checklist. This is a quick screening test to see whether you’re suitable for a full assessment. With a personal health budget, you’re able to decide how your money is spent.

The Checklist

This is the first stage in the assessment process to check eligibility for a full assessment, carried out by a doctor, nurse or social worker. Around 62% people pass it.

The full assessment

This is the main assessment. A multidisciplinary team of health and social care workers will look through 12 care 'domains' to assess your eligibility.

Decision Support Tool

The Decision Support Tool helps assessors come to consistent decisions about who is eligible for funding. You can try the tool yourself for free online beforehand.

After the assessment

If eligible, a team will work with you to plan your care. You'll have a big say over this. For example, you can take control of your funding with a personal health budget, or choose your own care provider.

Step 3 – Access local authority care funding

Most people fund their care with support from their local authority. But this is best to check after you’ve first ruled-out NHS funding, as a referral from the NHS may increase your chances of getting care funding.

This starts with a care needs assessment, then a financial assessment. In England, you’ll be entitled to some care funding if you have less than £23,250 in liquid assets. You can request whatever funding you are entitled to as a direct payment, which puts you in control of how you want to spend it.

Understand the Care Act

The Care Act 2014 is the law that local authorities have to follow. It spells out the eligibility criteria for eligibility, as well as the process.

The first step to getting your personal budget is to apply for a care needs assessment.

Personal budget

This is the amount of money you need to pay for the cost of your care needs. The sum of your budget is based on the results of both assessments. 

The care needs assessment - Elder

Care needs assessment

This will tell you exactly what care needs you have. If you're entitled to funding, the care needs assessment determines the size of your budget.

Direct payments

Direct payments are a way for you to take control of your personal budget and choose for yourself how you want to spend it. 

Elder's guide to the Local Authority financial assessment

Financial assessment

This means test assessment is to decide who is responsible for paying for your care – you or your local council.

Home adaptations

Upgrade your home to make it suitable for care. You can get up to £1,500 from your local authority, regardless of your financial situation.

Step – Funding care with savings or assets

If you’re not able to get your care fully-funded from your local authority, all is not lost. You can use your liquid assets, or use any of a range of financial products to help you pay for care.

There is an ever-increasing range of ways to release equity from your home. These products allow you to stay in your own home but use its value to fund your care.

Things to remember

Paying for care can feel like a stressful and daunting process. It may feel like you’ve suddenly been launched into a world of box-tickers and bureaucrats. But with the right mindset, there’s nothing stopping you arranging the care you think is best.

It’s simpler to navigate than you think

The system is complex – and sometimes feels like it’s against you – but we can help break things down into manageable next steps.


There are always options

There are always options available. It may not feel like it sometimes. But don’t give up. Relax, and let us help you put together a plan.


We’re always here to support you

When you feel alone – lost – in the system, we’re on your side, championing your right to funding, and giving you the confidence to make decisions.


Hold your nerve

If you do your research and seek expert advice, you’ll be confident to challenge any decisions or assessments you don’t feel to be correct.



We’re here to help always

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