< Explore Lifetime Care

State-sponsored care

How you can get help from the government

Benefits that aren’t means-tested

Local Authority support

If you need long-term care, your local authority will need to carry out a care assessment. This will help identify what care would be best for you and how it should be provided. They'll then carry out a financial assessment to check that you qualify for any financial support to help cover the cost of that care.

The assessment aims to find out two things:

1. Do your needs meet your local authority's eligibility criteria?

The government set out the eligibility criteria for England in the Care Act 2014, but Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are able to set their own guidelines, so there may be some differences.

2. Are you able to self-fund your care?

These are the means test limits for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and their implications, based on information from the respective government services.

  England
Wales
Scotland
Northern Ireland
Upper Means Test Limit
£23,250
£40,000 *
£27,250
£23,250
Lower Means Test Limit
£14,250
£40,000 *
£17,000
£14,250

*The upper and lower means test limits will remain at £24,000 in relation to charging for non-residential care.

If your assets are above the Upper Means Test Limit, you’re not eligible for local authority support.

If your assets are between the Upper and Lower Means Test Limits, your income will be assessed and topped up to the local authority fee scale. For every £250 you have in assets above the lower limit, £1 per week will be added to the income calculations.

If your assets held are less than Lower Means Test Limits, your income (minus the Personal Expense Allowance) will be assessed and topped up to Local Authority fee scale. 

State benefits

Here’s a list of state benefits provided to elderly people requiring care, based on information from the respective government services:

Type of benefit
Weekly rate from April 2017 
Weekly rate from April 2018
Attendance Allowance
- higher rate 
£83.10
£85.60
Attendance Allowance
- lower rate
£55.65 
£57.30
Disability Living Allowance
- highest care component
£83.10 
£85.60
Disability Living Allowance
- middle care component
£55.65 
£57.30
Disability Living Allowance
- lowest care component
£22.00 
£22.65
Disability Living Allowance
- higher mobility component 
£58.00 
£59.75
Disability Living Allowance
- lower mobility component
£22.00 
£22.65
Personal Independence Payment
- Living enhanced rate
£83.10 
£85.60
Personal Independence Payment
- Living standard rate
£55.65 
£57.30
Personal Independence Payment
- Mobility enhanced rate
£58.00 
£59.75
Personal Independence Payment
- Mobility standard rate
£22.00 
£22.65
Personal Expense Allowance
(Called Minimum Income Amount in Wales)

£24.90 England & NI

£27.50 Wales

£25.80 Scotland

£24.90 England

£25.27 NI

£28.50 Wales

£27 Scotland

Carer’s Allowance 
£62.70 
£64.60
Basic State Pension – single (assuming full NI contributions made) 
£122.30 
£125.95
Basic State Pension - couple 
£195.60
(Assuming No NI contributions made by one party) 
£201.45

This may be affected if you’re already claiming benefits. Please check the government's website for details.

This information is based on our current understanding of the amounts that are available. These amounts may be subject to change.