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Advice and guidance for self-funders

A self-funder is someone who pays the full cost of their own care and support. You may be self-funder if:

  • you have chosen not to contact adult social care for help with your care and support
  • you have been assessed by adult social care and are not currently eligible for care and support
  • you have been assessed by adult social care and are eligible for care and support but have savings above the self-funding threshold set by the government. If you have £23,250 or more in capital, savings or assets (excluding the value of your home) you will need to pay the full cost of your care and support.

When does the local authority make the arrangement?

If the local authority assesses your needs and identifies that you require a care home and help with funding, they have a duty to arrange suitable care. If you are unable to make decisions about your care and support, perhaps due to a lack of mental capacity, Buckinghamshire Council can help offer support.

NHS funding

Continuing Healthcare (CHC)

If your needs are primarily for healthcare and you live in a care home with nursing care, you may qualify for the full cost of your care under the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare.

Funded Nursing Care (FNC)

If you are not entitled to Continuing Healthcare, you may be still be eligible for Funded Nursing Care (FNC). Funded Nursing Care means that the NHS is responsible for paying a weekly contribution towards the cost of your nursing care.

Moving from self-funding to local authority funding

If there is a chance that you may not be able to continue funding your own care in the long-term, it is important to consider this at the start. It is advisable to have a care needs assessment to find out whether adult social care would assist you with the fees of your chosen care home if you could no longer afford it yourself.

If your capital falls below the £23,250 threshold, you may become eligible for financial support from the Buckinghamshire Council. To find out if adult social care can help, you will require a care needs assessment. We recommend you contact adult social care a few months before your capital falls below the threshold in case of any delays.

If you move to another area and go into a care home privately, the local authority in that area is responsible for you if you need local authority funding or support.

Can I stay in the care home I’m in?

If the care home you live in costs more than Buckinghamshire Council can fund, you may have to ask a third party (usually a friend or relative) to help cover the costs. This is known as a ‘third party top-up.’

How do I get good value for money for my care?

If you are in a position where your finances are over the threshold (£23,250), we would advise that you get some independent financial advice. This will help you make the best decision about how to meet the financial commitments to cover your care needs now and in the future.

Independent advisers can help you to make the most of the assets you have (cash or other) through appropriate planning to cover any long-term care costs. One advantage of seeking independent financial advice is that they will have specialist knowledge and will be able to assess your specific circumstances and make sure you are claiming all the benefits and allowances you are entitled to.

Some of the advice will be offered free of charge, but some of the services will have a fee. Please make sure you enquire about this when you first contact your chosen adviser.

You can find a reputable and verified local financial adviser through The Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA).

Paying for Care is a website that offers advice on care costs and planning for care. It also has information about local care fees advisers.

The Money Advice Service was set up by the government to offer impartial financial advice and information to help you make the most of your money.

Local and national organisations

Age UK


Independent Age

Carers Bucks