Most people will be expected to pay something towards the costs of their accommodation and personal care from their income and capital.

If the local authority is involved in arranging your placement, the amount you will have to pay will be worked out via a means test, which is based on nationally set guidelines.

Regardless of whether you move into a care home on a temporary or permanent basis, your local authority will need to carry out a means test. The amount of money you have is irrelevant at this point.

Once the means test has been carried out and you have been told the level of your needs, your income and assets are taken into account. Currently, if you have assets of more than £23,250, you will need to pay the full cost of your care. Your income is also taken into account.

Response to the Dilnot Commission on Care Funding

The Coalition government accepted the Dilnot Commission’s recommendations on principle in 2014, but chose different thresholds. These have been incorporated into the Care Bill. From April 2016, the upper capital limit will be £118,000.

This figure sits alongside a new care cost cap of £72,000, above which the state will meet eligible care needs. Progress towards the cap will be measured in a care account.

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Your Rights as a carer

Carers-ukYour rights as a carer

Carers have certain rights, and it’s important that you know what these are. Don’t overlook your own needs as a carer: making time for yourself is crucial to your own health and well-being.

Carer’s assessment

You’re entitled to a carer’s assessment if you regularly provide a substantial amount of care for someone, regardless of whether the person you care for is having their needs assessed. Contact your local social services department to request one.

Before your carer’s assessment think carefully about how your caring role affects you and what would help you manage better.

During the assessment, you’ll have a chance to talk about the care you provide and the impact it has on your life. The assessor will look at the support you get and whether other services could help you. They’ll also advise you on any benefits you’re entitled to and other sources of help.

Following the assessment, you’ll get a letter describing the support you could get and who will provide it.

Carers Direct have detailed advice on preparing for a carer’s assessment.

Carer’s Allowance

The main benefit you may be entitled to as a carer is Carer’s Allowance. To qualify you must spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a disabled person.

Protect your State Pension

If you care for someone for at least 20 hours per week, you could get Carer’s Credit. This helps build to build your entitlement to basic and additional State Pension.

Carer’s Credit is a weekly National Insurance credit for carers that you will automatically get if you receive Carer’s Allowance. If not, apply by calling the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0845 608 4321.

Your rights at work

If you’re working as well as caring for someone, you have the right to request flexible working arrangements to help you fulfill your responsibilities.

You can make one request for flexible working each year. Your employer must consider it but does not have to agree to it.

Social services

If social services carries out a care assessment for the person you care for your views will also be taken into consideration when deciding how best to support them.

You may also be able to receive assistance from social services – for example practical help at home, help with taxi fares, counseling to deal with stress and information about local support groups.

Visit the Carers Trust or check your local authority’s website to find out what services are available in your area.


If you have any concerns about the support that either you or the person you care for is receiving, you have a right to complain to the local authority that is providing the service, or the Care Quality Commission.

If you’re worried that you, or someone close to you, may have dementia, it can be difficult to talk about. You may feel scared, confused or even ashamed. You may also be hoping that the problem will go away so you don’t have to deal with it.

We understand dementia and there are lots of ways we can help.

You can speak to one of our National Dementia Helpline Advisers on 0300 222 11 22.1