Home Care facts and how to pay

If you or a family member do not qualify for local authority funding (if your savings, including the price of your property exceed £23,750), you may be able to raise more cash from your income or your property to help pay for home care.

People also have to pay for their own home care if they:
  • Don’t qualify for council funding because their needs are not that sufficient following an assessment
  • Are eligible for funding but have too much money – the local authority could still provide home care but it will be charged for
A needs assessment is free and could prove useful, even if you decide not to apply for financial support as it will outline your actual needs and the services available.

How much do home care agencies charge?

Although there are no nationally published figures for self-funders paying for home care, research by the UK Home Care Association (UKHCA) in 2015 showed that across the UK, local authorities were paying approximately £13.50 per hour to home care agencies.

The UKHCA recommends that agencies charge a minimum price of £16.70 per hour for the financial year, 2016-2017. This may change depending on the level of care required by each individual.

Live in care (24/7) is becoming increasingly popular among people who want to remain in their own home but who need day and night supervision. Live-in carers can either be contracted to home care agencies or self-employed, meaning they pay their own tax and NI contributions and are usually paid directly by their clients or their families.

A fully managed service is one where the company providing the care employs and trains its carers directly and oversees all aspects of the care arrangements, from client and risk assessment to comprehensive care plans. These providers are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The Live-in Care Information Hub conducted a survey of live-in care fees across the UK (2015) as they were keen to be transparent about the costs of this type of care.

The survey showed that in 2015-16 care fees range from £600 per week for an introductory service through to £1,600 a week for a fully managed nursing service for people with more complex needs. However, most providers charge between £800 and £1,250 per week.

Paying for care at home

There are several ways you may raise money for home care if you are not eligible for funding from the local authority.

  • Raise income from pensions or property (possibly equity release)
  • Claim benefits such as attendance allowance
  • Financial help from family or friends
  • Selling your property to buy a smaller one
  • Letting a room in your house