Here at Balmoral View Care Centre in Belfast, we know that money is naturally one of the biggest concerns when deciding on a care plan. How will it be paid for? Who pays for it? How much will it cost?

We know it can be confusing, so we hope the following guide on fees and funding will be helpful when deciding what to do. We also strongly recommend speaking to your social worker, doctor or family solicitor to answer any further questions.

Who pays for care?

The costs of staying in a care home are usually divided into three:

  • Nursing care - provided by a qualified nurse
  • Personal care - such as help with dressing, eating and washing, provided by a carer
  • Accommodation - including food, heating and living costs

In some cases, financial assistance is available. It's important to understand what that help is and how to get it.

In Northern Ireland, you have to contribute towards your care-home fees. Your local Health and Social Care (HSC) Trust will work out how much you have to pay after a financial assessment. The assessment will look at your income and capital to calculate how much you have to pay.

Examples of income include:

  • Interest on any savings
  • Private and/or state pension
  • Some benefits like pension credit, attendance allowance or the care component of disability living allowance

Capital might include:

  • Savings
  • Investments
  • Any property you own, such as your own home or a holiday home

Before your financial assessment, make sure you're getting the benefits you're entitled to because your contribution to your home fees will be based on all income, including benefits.

No matter how much you have to pay towards your home fees, you must be left with £24.40 a week for personal expenses.

If your capital is:

  • Greater than £23,250 - you will be assessed as being able to meet the full cost of your care
  • Between £14,250 and £23,250 - capital between these amounts will be calculated as providing you with an income of £1 per week for every £250 of your savings
  • £14,250 or under - your capital will be ignored in calculating how much you have to contribute to the cost of your care

If you own your home then it will usually be counted as capital for 12 weeks after you move permanently into a care home. The value of your own home will not be counted as capital if certain close relatives still live there.

You will have a needs assessment before a financial assessment. Your local trust will be able to tell you how much they usually pay for a residential or nursing care home that meets your needs, then arrange a suitable care home for you. Or you can choose one yourself that charges a similar price.

You can choose a care home that is more expensive than your local trust usually pays for a person with your assessed needs, but you may need to pay the difference yourself. If the trust suggests a home that meets your needs and you still want to move into a more expensive home, you can ask a third party such as a relative or friend to pay the extra. You will not be able to pay this yourself, as your financial assessment will have already worked out what you can afford.

If your assessment finds that your primary need is for health care, your trust will pay the full cost of your care. This is called "continuing health care".

Need help with your decision?

At Balmoral View Care Centre, we're happy to talk to you about the costs of care, and the processes involved in paying for care. We'll also fully discuss our fees before admission.

Contact us

Whether you decide to stay at Balmoral View Care Centre or another Four Seasons care home, we strongly advise you to seek expert financial help before making any final decisions.

Looking for more information?

Here are some sites you may find useful: