Advice on your welfare benefits when moving into a care home and
leaving hospital to move into a care home.
A permanent or temporary stay in a care home can affect your benefits. If you are receiving any
benefits and your circumstances change, you need to tell the relevant government department.
You may decide that moving into a care home when you leave hospital is the right option for you.
Your local council can help make the necessary arrangements
You will probably have to contribute most benefits you get towards your care home fees.
Moving into a care home should not affect the mobility component of your Disability Living Allowance (DLA). It will also be disregarded when your local council are calculating how much you should contribute towards the cost of your care.
If the NHS is funding your care home fees, both the care component and the mobility component of your DLA may be affected. Please contact the office that normally pays your DLA for further information.
The table below describes how your Attendance Allowance (AA) and the care component of your DLA is affected when you move into a care home.
Effect on the care component of DLA and AA
Your local council is helping you with your care home fees.
It will be paid for the first four weeks (if you were already entitled to receive it before moving into a care home).
You local council is not helping you with your care home fees (self-funding).
It will usually continue.
You are in the first 12 weeks of your permanent stay in a care home and your property is not being counted as capital for this period. Your local council is helping you with your care home fees for this period and you will become self funding from the 13th week (or earlier if the property is sold).
It will be paid for the first four weeks of your stay in a care home and will restart from the 13th week or when you start self-funding.
Your local council is helping you with your care home fees on a temporary basis while you sell your assets and/or you have a 'deferred payments agreement' where you will pay your contribution to your care home fees back to your local council later.
It will be paid for as long as you are entitled to it.
Income Support and Pension Credit
If your move into a care home will be permanent and you are claiming Income Support or Pension Credit as a couple, you should now claim as separate individuals.
Your local council will expect you to claim any Income Support or Pension Credit that you are entitled to and will help you apply. These benefits will count as income when your contribution to your care home fees is assessed.
If your stay is temporary you can continue to claim Income Support or Pension Credit for up to 52 weeks.
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit
If you are in a care home for a short break or for temporary care you can continue to receive Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit for up to 52 weeks. If you are in a care home on a trial period your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit for housing costs will stop if your trial period exceeds 13 weeks.
Moving into a care home will not affect your State Pension but it will be counted as income when your contribution to your care home fees is assessed.
If someone cares for you and is claiming Carer's Allowance then they must tell the Carer's Allowance Unit that you are moving into a care home. The Carer's Allowance Until will work out if their benefit will continue.
Telephone: 0345 608 4321
Textphone: 0345 604 5312
Monday to Thursday, 8:30am to 5pm
Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm
Carers Allowance Unit
Mail Handling Site A
Going into a care home from hospital
If your circumstances have changed or if you are newly disabled - and you need support and perhaps nursing care - a move to a care home may be the answer.
A local council assessment will be needed to work out the support you may require. Hospital staff should be able to contact your local council and arrange an assessment for you.
You cannot be discharged from hospital into a care home against your will and you have the right to choose which care home you move into. Your local council can do a financial assessment and will help with fees if you do not have sufficient savings.
The care home you move into must meet your assessed needs. If your needs are complex or you need specific care related to your disability, illness or age this might take some time. Pressure should not be put on you to make your decision quickly.
You may be eligible for full National Health Service (NHS) continuing care funding if your medical needs meet your health authority's criteria. You can ask your council for a copy of these. If the NHS do fund your care then they will choose where the care is provided. They have to take your views into account.
Going into hospital if you live in a care home
It should be possible for you to keep your room while you are in hospital.
If your local council is helping to pay your fees they should inform you how long they will continue to pay for your room in the care home. As long as this is happening and your benefits are unaffected, you will be expected to pay your assessed contribution.
If you are self-funding, your care home will be able to tell you how they charge during hospital stays - this should also be in the agreed terms and conditions that you receive when you moved in.
Effect on benefits
If you live in a care home and you go into hospital, you should contact the office that normally pays your Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Attendance Allowance (AA). Payment of DLA or AA can normally continue if you are in hospital for less than 28 days but this is not the case if you go into hospital from a care home and payment of DLA or AA has already stopped.