Paying for residential care

When you go into residential care (which includes nursing home care), you can meet the costs yourself if you wish.

However, in most cases the council will meet the cost of the service and you will pay a contribution based on your individual financial circumstances.

Who gets help?

We can provide financial help for those people who meet our access criteria.

A member of the adult social care team will assess your needs to help decide whether nursing or residential care is best for you. You have the right to choose which home you go to. 

We can pay for your care up to an agreed level of costs, providing that you do not have more assets or savings than the government “upper capital limit”. For the current value of this limit and any other cash figures referred to in this page, please see Fees Costs and Allowances which we update each April.

How much will you have to pay?

Your contribution will be calculated using rules set by the government. These take account of:

  • your income, such as most benefits and pensions
  • your capital, such as savings, investments and the value of any property you may own.

We will send you a written explanation of how your weekly contribution has been calculated.

Your contribution will allow you to keep a personal allowance. This amount is also fixed by the government.

We will send you a written explanation of how your weekly contribution has been calculated. For more detail on how we calculate any contribution, please see our Contributions Policy. 

If you go into a home for a short break (respite care) or while we assess your needs, you will be expected to pay a contribution. The amount depends on the number of days you spend having short breaks or temporary care.

What about your own home?

If you own, or jointly own, any land or property then the value of this will be considered when assessing your contributions.

This will be taken into account once it has been agreed that you require permanent residential or nursing care.

Under certain circumstances the value of your land or property may be disregarded. These include where your former home is occupied by:

  • your partner (except where you are estranged or divorced from the partner / former partner)
  • a child or young person who you are legally responsible to maintain.

If it is decided that the value of your property has to be taken into account this will usually mean that you will be responsible for the full costs of your care as your assets will be more than the “upper capital limit”.

However we may be willing to enter into a 'deferred payments agreement' to wait until the property is sold before asking you to pay the full costs. A contribution based on the income currently available to you would be payable while the property was waiting to be sold.

In most cases a legal charge will be placed against the land and/or property to protect the council's interest and you will pay a fee to us as well as ongoing interest charges at a rate set by the Government. For the current costs of the fee and interest rate, please see Fees Costs and Allowances which we update each April.

When the property is finally sold you will be required to pay the difference between the full cost of your placement and the weekly amount you have been paying prior to the sale.

The Residential Charging Team will contact you if it is decided to take your property into account for charging purposes.

If you don't agree with us, or have a complaint

If you think a mistake has been made in calculating your contribution, or we have not accepted costs that you believe we should include, please contact us in the Community Care Business Unit (as below); we will review the calculation to make sure that no mistakes have been made. If you still don't agree you can go to an appeal.

If you have a complaint about our service quality or how our staff treated you, please contact the Customer Feedback Team;

  • Online by creating a customer account at:
  • Tel: 0121 569 7867
  • Post: Customer Feedback Team, Sandwell Council, Roway Lane, Oldbury B69 3ES.

Contacts and more information

Financial Assessments and Contributions;

Community Care Business Unit: email:

Call: 07887 826455 or

07887 893539 or

07766 780242

General adult social care enquiries

If you think that residential care may be an option for you or someone you care for, contact Sandwell Enquiry.

Call: 0121 569 2266

More information

You can get more details about how we work out what you have to contribute pay in our Paying for residential and nursing home care - ASC factsheet 2.

You can get independent advice from: