On entering residential care a financial assessment would be carried out in order to establish if you need to pay for your own care of if your assets were below the means test limit of £23,250 you will receive some assistance from your local authority or if your assets fall below the lower limit of £14,240 your care should be fully provided by the local authority.
Each local authority will have an upper level that they will be prepare to pay for your care in a residential home. Because they will be taking many beds in residential homes they will normally be able to secure the places they require at a much lower cost than the care home may charge as their standard rate to a self funding individual.
Providing your assets are below the lower means test limit, you may be offered a deferred payment schemes which is will enable your care costs to be secured as a loan against your property. It may be possible to also include any cost of the top up against the property also. The debt will accrue during your remaining lifetime in care and would be paid off from the eventual sale of the property. The loan is interest free providing it is repaid within 56 days of the death of the individual.
If your chosen residential home is of a higher cost than the standard maximum rate offered by your local authority then you may still be able to achieve this by making a top up payment from any disregarded income or by a third party top up perhaps from your family. Being able to do this will give you a much greater choice of care homes.
Unfortunately there is no obligation for all Local Authorities to offer deferred payment schemes, however if you are lucky enough to secure funding this way, you will be in a position where you will retain ownership of your home which may then be let out to produce additional income which can in turn be used to fund the top up on your care home fees.