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The framework governing eligibility for local authority funding support is set out in The Care and Support (Charging and Assessment of Resources) Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/2672), as amended (SI 2014/2672) and in the Care and Support Statutory Guidance (CASS) published by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Very broadly, whether a person is eligible for local authority funding depends on how much capital they have:

  • Care home residents with capital in excess of £23,250 (the upper capital limit) are not eligible for local authority funding support.
  • Care home residents with capital between £14,250 (the lower capital limit) and £23,250 (the upper capital limit) are eligible for funding support but must contribute a “tariff income” of £1 per week for every full or part £250 above the lower limit towards the cost of their care.
  • Care home residents with capital below £14,250 are eligible for funding support and are not charged any “tariff income” – i.e. the capital is effectively completely disregarded.

While these limits are rigid for care home residents, local authorities have discretion to set higher (but not lower) limits for people receiving care in other settings (e.g. in their own home). 

The value of a person’s main or only home is disregarded as capital when they are receiving care outside of a care home. For care home residents, their home can be counted as capital, but in certain circumstances it must be disregarded either for a time-limited period or permanently (e.g. if the home has been continuously occupied by the person’s partner since before they went into a care home).

When someone is eligible for local authority funding support they are still required to contribute their income towards the cost of their care, subject to any disregards (e.g. earnings).

Individuals are, however, allowed to retain a certain amount each week for personal expenses and (if applicable) household bills. For care home residents this is called the Personal Expenses Allowance and for people receiving care in other settings it is called the Minimum Income Guarantee.


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