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19 Community care
11. What if I want to move to a care home that costs more than the council will pay?
You do not have to limit your choice to homes that come within the council's price range. But if you go for a more expensive home, you will need to get someone to pay the extra above what the council will pay. This could be a friend, charity or relative, but it cannot normally be your husband or wife. You can’t normally top-up the fees yourself, except in a few specific circumstances - ask social services for details if you think you may want to do this.
If you do have someone to pay the extra, but after some time they can't carry on doing this, you may have to move to a cheaper home.
When you make your own arrangements for care, you can choose whichever home you like. But remember that you may at some point in the future have to get some help with fees (if your savings run down, for example). If this happens and you are living in a home that costs more than the council normally pays for someone with your needs, you may have to move.
Can I go to a care home for a trial period?
If you want to go to a home for a trial period before deciding whether residential care is right for you, you will generally be considered a temporary resident for the purposes of working out charges and benefits (see 'What if my move into a home is temporary?'). Any Housing Benefit, Income Support housing costs or Council Tax Benefit you get for your own home will be paid only for 13 weeks of any trial period.
This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Sue Bloomfield, a freelance consumer affairs writer.
The leaflets are regularly updated but the law may have changed since they were printed so the information in them may be incorrect or out of date.
Leaflet Version: May 2019
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