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If you pay for your own care

This page explains what self-funding means and what to do if the money you use to pay for your care runs out.
While you're paying for your own care, you're free to choose the care services you want. Once we provide financial assistance, we'll work with you to decide how best to meet your needs.

What is self-funding?

A self-funder is someone who pays for the full cost of their social care and support. You're a self-funder if either:

  • You choose to find and pay for your care without involving us
  • You have been assessed by the council as needing care and support but have assets worth more than £23,250 

Assets can include, but are not limited to, savings, property and investments such as shares, stocks or bonds.

Get financial advice for self-funding

It's a good idea to get independent financial advice on funding your care. We've provided a list of information, advice and advocacy organisations that can help you, or you could talk to an independent financial advisor.

If you decide to use an independent financial advisor, you should check they hold qualifications that demonstrate their understanding of care funding. The Money Advice Service has more information about financial advisors.

Advice may include:

  • Ensuring you're receiving all the benefits you are entitled to
  • Reducing the risk of running out of money (for example, budgeting effectively or avoiding scams)
  • Recommending ways to protect your money
  • Helping to protect your assets
  • Reviewing your assets, including your property and personal goods, to boost your income

The Norfolk Directory provides details of other organisations, including voluntary organisations who will also able to provide financial advice and support. Go to the Norfolk Community Directory.

Asking for financial help

If the value of your assets is likely to reduce to £23,250 as a result of paying for care, you may be eligible for support from us.

It will help us prepare if you can contact us when your savings fall below £30,000, as it takes time to put funding arrangements in place. Contact our social care team so we can assess your needs and finances.

The first thing we'll do is to arrange for an assessment of your care and support needs.  If you qualify for help and no longer need to fund the entire cost of your care services, we have a duty to provide or arrange the services you need.

Following the care needs assessment, most people will have a financial assessment to work out how much they will need to pay towards the cost of their care when they are no longer a self-funder.

These assessments are carried out by telephone, online or face-to-face depending on your needs and financial circumstances. The assessment will consider your capital, benefits and pension incomes to work out how much you will need to pay towards the cost of your care.

You'll no longer need to pay the full cost of your care services when your assets drop below £23,250. The financial assessment will calculate the amount you will need to pay towards the cost of your care.

If you give money or assets away to avoid paying for your own care or to receive financial help sooner, we may ask the person who received the money or assets to pay for some (or all) of the cost of your care. 

How much will the council pay towards your care?

After your care and support assessment, we'll let you know your personal budget. This is the total amount that we've agreed can meet your social care and support needs.

The amount that we'll pay may be less than the amount that you have been paying directly. We will, however, provide information about other providers within your personal budget.

If you wish to continue with your current provider there may be alternative arrangements available, including the two following examples. 

Deferred Payment Agreements (DPA)

If your savings are under £23,250 but you own a property that is included within your financial assessment, you may be eligible for a DPA. This is where your care fees are secured against the equity in your property.

Any balance on a DPA will be reclaimed from the sale proceeds when your property is sold. You will need to make a part-payment towards the cost of your care in the meantime. Get more information about DPAs.

Top-ups (residential care only)

If you wish to remain with your chosen care provider, you may need to ask someone to pay the shortfall. This is called a Third Party Top-up. You cannot pay this from your savings. 

Further information

For more information please contact the Financial Assessment Team on 01603 222133 (Option 2) or email

You may also find the following websites useful:


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