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Health and Wellbeing
A Health and Well-being Wales Partner

If you are only going into residential care on a on a short-term, temporary or a trial basis, the local council’s charging rules are different.

Your stay might have been arranged because you are recovering from an illness or hospital stay, or to give your carers a break.

Sometimes, a temporary stay in residential care is part of someone’s ‘intermediate’ care plan or reablement services (short-term reablement services are provided free of charge).

Paying for temporary residential care

You should be notified of your status on a short-term, temporary or permanent, immediately because it affects the way the council assess your financial contribution.

If your stay is short-term and planned (so your family member or carer can have a short break), you will be charged as if you were receiving care services within your own home.

The council can agree for you to stay in residential care on a temporary basis for up to 52 weeks (longer in exceptional circumstances).

They might not ask you to make a contribution initially but after eight weeks they must apply the means test, albeit with different rules regarding capital and income, e.g. they cannot take the value of your home into account if you intend to return there or sell it to find somewhere suitable for you to live in the future

How your benefits are affected

The rules for benefits are complicated and differ depending on the benefit and your individual circumstances.

If you are receiving disability or means-tested benefits, it’s important to tell the Social Security Agency so that you are not overpaid.

Age Cymru has published a useful factsheet Paying for temporary care in a care home in Wales (June 2022).

Last updated: 27/04/2023