Paying for care if you have a partner

Paying for care if you have a partner

Does your spouse or partner have to pay for your care?

Paying for care if you have a partnerIf you’re wondering whether one partner in a couple is liable for the other’s care costs, generally speaking the answer is no.

Age UK have produced an excellent factsheet to help answer questions about paying for care if you have a partner, and it’s worth reading: Paying for care in a care home if you have a partner.

Keep in mind at all times, though, that:

The only time anyone should be asked to pay for care is once it has been clearly shown that they are not eligible for NHS funding. So, if a person with health needs requires full time care, no one should carry out a financial assessment or ask about their money until an assessment for NHS Continuing Healthcare has been carried out – and a proper decsion has been reached about who is actually responsible for care costs.

Paying for care if you have a partner

If you do have to undergo a means test, always remember that:

  • this should only look at the assets/savings of the person needing care – not the partner
  • the partner who does not require care should not be left in fiancial hardship after their spouse’s/partner’s assets have been means tested
  • if the partner who does not need care is still living in the house, and this is jointly owned, it must be disregarded while the remaining partner is living there
  • generally speaking you should each be treated as separate individuals as far as your money is concerned, even if you both need care at the same time
  • it’s important to consider ongoing house maintenance costs (insurance, heating, etc) when being means tested, so that there are enough funds to maintain the property, especially if the stay in care is temporary

But remember, this only applies if you’re not eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding – and that should be assessed first.

Regardless of your current health, and regardless of who actually has to pay for care, be sure also to have a Power of Attorney in place, so that someone you trust can act on your behalf if needed. This is such an important point. Trying to deal with health and social care authorities without one can be extremely difficult.

Also, always take independent financial advice before you make decisions about your money, especially when it comes to care fees. There are many potential pitfalls. Be sure that any adviser you speak to understands the CRAG rules inside out (Charging for Residential Accommodation Guide).

Read the AgeUK report here: Paying for care in a care home if you have a partner.



  1. Pat G 2 months ago

    My Husband had a subachroid brain haemorrhage some years ago and was in hospital for a long time, since being home he has a care package paid for by CHC, however they have now said that they will only pay 25% towards his care package and 75% is to be paid by social, ( he is not able to do anything for himself)which i have been informed will likely be mean tested and that we will probably be asked to pay towards his package, i work full time as we have a mortgage and bills to pay, also my husband needs to go to a gym etc to help improve his quality of life, we do not get any help for anything only his care, therefore everything else is paid out of my wage, can they make us pay towards his care out of my wage, as i try to work more hours to provide for a better life for him, (not on a high wage) which seems unfair if i am working for this and they are going to take it off me in the other hand, which will then mean that we will not be able to fund anything else to help him to have a better quality of life.

  2. Louise 7 months ago

    My mum and dad currently claim pension credit, my dads pension is a lot more than my mums as he always worked my mum was mainly a stay at home mum – its looking like my dad will need to go into a care home due to his dementia – How will they work out their income as they currently get joint pension credit? Will they have to claim separately one he moves? I am concerned how my mum will live on her small pension.

  3. John 9 months ago

    My mum is going in to a nursing home in the assessment regarding fees will her husband’s savings be taken in to account or just hers.

  4. Glenis Morgan lewis 1 year ago

    My husband has dementia and I care for him at home. Should he ever need to go into a care home how will that affect my home.
    He moved in with me and I owned the house. It has never been in joint names as it is destined for my son as my first husband left it to me when he died

    • Jean Charlton 3 months ago

      If I own the house and my husband has to go into care, can they take the house to pay for his care?

  5. Pam 1 year ago

    My husband is waiting to go into a nursing home can they take my old age and private pension into the financial assessment

    • Care to be Different 1 year ago

      Hi Pam – no they cannot, only your husband’s. Kind regards

  6. Barbara M 2 years ago

    My partner and I cohabit in a house that is solely in his name. I will inherit when he dies but I cannot find any information about my rights to stay in the house if he needs to go into care. Does anyone have any answers?

  7. norma holgate 2 years ago

    My husband is in care we have less than £23,000, he is getting some help with nursing care, he however has a private pension will I be entitled to keep half of it?

  8. Viv Dean 3 years ago

    My father is 100 years old and has been living with us for the past six years. I have MS and can no longer care for him so he has gone into a very good care home just down the road, so I can go to see him every day. My stepmother lives three hundred miles away and has never visited him since he came to live with us.
    His care home fees require all his pension income, plus a top up amount which I have been paying, although I cannot afford to continue to do this for very long. The local authority ‘ceiling’ is set at a figure which means that it makes no difference whether he is self-funding or Local Authority funded.
    My stepmother insists that she should continue to receive £500 a month from my father. She has accumulated many thousands of pounds in savings taken from their joint account over the years – we estimate that she has between £150,000 and £250,000 – all originally deriving from my father’s income. I have six years’ bank statements to support my assertion, and they have been married for 35 years.
    I have power of attorney over his financial affairs and welfare, and I am inclined to refuse her any further income from my father. If she took me to court over this, would she have to provide full disclosure of her financial position?
    Can anyone advise me as to my legal position, and as to what I can do for the best?

  9. Elizabeth Perrott 3 years ago

    My ex-husband is terminally ill with mixed dementia and he is not longer mobile and is unable to speak coherently or feed himself. His second wife has no pension of her own, they married as pensioners and her income ceased when they married ) I assume she was then getting Income support and pension credit. I think he probably qualifies for NHS Continuing Healthcare but what I am trying to do is help his wife. She doesn’t know what she will be left to live on while he is needing care. They only have his pension and couple state pension. They live in a Council pensioner’s bungalow . He is currently in a cottage hospital but they intend to put a hospital bed into their home, move him back and send in help 4 times a day. She is in her 80s and not well herself and is now panicking.

  10. Amanda 3 years ago

    My Father’s care is being funded via NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) and he is now in 24 hour nursing care. However, he has severe dementia and they are struggling to cope with him. They have said that he needs one on one nursing care therefore, we have advised the care home to liaise with continuing health care social worker. We have received a contract for us to sign, which is ‘hospitality services’ where most will not apply to my Dad (e.g. meals for visitors; newspapers as he can’t read; physiotherapy on top of what he receives from the care package etc). They have asked my Mum to top up £450 per week as continuing health care only pay up to £950 when the cost of care actually is £1400 per week. I have responded to the care home, querying the above and now waiting for their response. However, just hoping I am doing the right thing as it is hard particularly as my Mum and sister rely on me, and I am deaf but doing my best. My gut feeling is that we shouldn’t pay the top up – what do you all think?

  11. gaynor O'Neill 3 years ago

    My mum is in a nursing home EMI.. 24 hour care.. The local authorities pay most… But my dad has to pay £50top up fee third party…. Now her care cost has hone up again by £5 per week the total my dad has to pay out is £186.00 at week… He’s 85yrs old he’s paying most out of his pension… Ithink it’s wrong… Can you clarify this… Who should pay… Thank-you

  12. Stuart S 5 years ago

    Pat, my mother is in exactly the same situation as you. Currently not eligible for CHC (appeal ongoing, re-assessment scheduled: likely outcome is re-assessemt grants funding). After the “standard” deduction of my father’s income (100% statepension, half private pension), the (reduced) household expenses far exceed remaining income, even with all possible benefits claimed. My father, strictly speaking, does have adequate funds to pay what’s needed for his care but it will leave my mother in financial hardship. Best way to address/resolve this? Let’s assume worst case scenario i.e all CHC avenues have been explored unsuccessfully.

  13. Pat Drury 6 years ago

    I have a partner gone into a nursing home and had a financial assessment.I have been told I have to pay £1350.00 per month towards his care,I only have £1116.00 coming in.This leaves no money to pay for bills etc.They tell me they don’t take out goings into account.What am I meant to do???

    • Angela 6 years ago

      Thanks for your comment, Pat. It’s only your partner’s money that should be taken into account in paying for his care. If he does not have the funds, the local authority should pay – not you. The only thing you should be asked to pay (possibly) are top-up fees, but ONLY if these are relevant – and certainly not at the level you’ve been told. This may help: BUT… remember that your partner should only have to pay if he’s not eligible for Continuing Healthcare funding; this must be established first.

  14. Mr B Puttock 6 years ago

    my wife is in a nursing home and gets continuing health care, this week i have had letter from the home saying i have to pay an extera £50.00 per week frorm 7th January to be in line with their fee of £798.25, do i have to pay this out of my pension.

    • Angela 6 years ago

      Absolutely not. If a person in care is means tested, it is only their own money that should be taken into account for care fees. Because your wife receives Continuing Healthcare, she should a) not be means tested at all; b) not be asked to pay for her care – nor any ‘top up’ payments; c) you should not be asked to pay anything either. Continuing Healthcare should cover all care needs, regardless of the cost of the care home. If the care home are not receiving full payment from the NHS, they need to send their additional invoices to the NHS, not to you.

      • Chris-G 6 years ago

        Does this never end???? As Angela wrote, do not pay anyone extra money for care. If the need is for hair dressing etc. then ask for an invoice for the specific charges. There is far too much formal charging of “extras” at a regular fixed rate, as if it forms part of the care costs. I wish you well.

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