Frequently Asked Questions

There is a wealth of information available online. Some recommended website can be found below, but please note that Belong is not responsible for third party content.

Age UK (Formerly Age UK & Help the Aged)
Alzheimer’s Society Leading the fight against dementia
Arthritis Foundation Aiming to relieve the suffering and pain of arthritis by natural methods
British Red Cross Volunteer led humanitarian organisation that helps people in crisis
Carers Trust Charity working to improve support, services and recognition for unpaid carers. Merged from The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Care.
Carers UK Organisation of carers
Care Quality Commission CQC inspect and report on care services and councils.
DEEP engages and empowers people living with dementia to influence attitudes, services and policies that affect their lives.
Dementia UK Improving quality of life for people with dementia
Department for Work and Pensions Promoting opportunity and independence for all through customer-focused services
Department of Health Improving the health and wellbeing of people in England
Eden Alternative Not for profit organisation dedicated to improving the experience of ageing and disability around the world
Elderly Accommodation Counsel Helping older people make informed choices about meeting their housing and care needs
Independent Age Provider of information and advice for older people, their carers and families, focusing on social care, welfare benefits and befriending services.
Macmillan Cancer Support Improving the lives of people living with cancer
My Home Life Promotes quality of life for those living, dying, visiting and working in care homes.
Paying For Care Designed to help you make informed decisions about arrangements and funding for long term care.
Parkinsons Disease Society Leading charity dedicated to supporting all people with Parkinson’s
Social Care Institute for Excellence Established by government in 2001 to improve social care service for adults and children in the UK
The National Care Forum Promoting quality care through the not-for-profit sector
The Pension Service Part of the department for work and pensions
The Stroke Association UK wide charity solely concerned with combating stroke in people of all ages

If you or your family will be paying the fees yourself, you can start to visit straight away. Try and visit as many locations as possible to see what is on the market. If your local council is paying for some or all of the fees, you can also start looking immediately. Your Social Services department will assess your needs to agree the type of care you need. Once you have found a location you like, the staff there will assess your needs to make sure they can offer the kind of care that you require. There may be a funding gap between Local Authority rates and the care provider’s needs; therefore you should check your eligibility for funding and benefits such as Attendance Allowance.

Belong Villages are registered BOTH as residential AND nursing homes, because we provide residential, dementia and nursing care. Our villages also have apartments for independent living, and facilities such as hair salon, bistro and gym for everyone to enjoy. It is important that you have a care assessment to choose the best option, in order to stay independent for as long as possible.

Both nursing and residential homes provide accommodation, meals and personal care.
In a nursing home, however, the care team on duty will always include at least one qualified nurse (the number will depend on the number of residents living in the home) and can therefore cater for people with a medical condition that requires nursing attention.
Residential homes will call in medical support from other agencies such as local GPs, district nurses and so on who will conduct routine appointments at the care home as well as being on standby for emergencies.
Your initial care assessment will identify which of the two care settings is most appropriate for your needs.

The financial side of paying for your care is quite complex and subject to change. We realise that this can be daunting and so we will do everything we can to help you every step of the way. For all customers, we arrange a financial assessment with a customer support advisor or member of the village management team. This is a discussion to look at your circumstances and the funding options available to you, based on your support needs and financial position.

Belong charges its customers on a monthly basis, in advance, according to your assessed needs for support and the accommodation provided. The only exception is respite support, which is charged in advance for the length of stay.

Some of our customers need more specialist care and are supported by a qualified nurse with higher staffing levels. The difference in service for higher dependency care will be reflected in your fees. However, this difference is generally aligned with the nursing care element of £183.92 per week that is provided by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), following a nurse assessment and is not means tested.

There may be circumstances where more intensive 1-1 support is required on settling in or when assessed needs have changed and this will be agreed as part of the assessment process and in partnership with the customer, the CCG and local authority.

Yes, an annual increase takes place on 1 April. This is to ensure our charges take account of inflationary pressures on our costs. The amount of the increase varies according to the service and location. Details are found in the Key Facts sheet for each location.

For people looking to move into a household, we usually recommend that funding is in place for three years.

In this instance, Belong will work with the local authority to advocate for our customers and help secure state funding for them in Belong. We do our best to support people to stay with us but we cannot guarantee that this will always be possible.

When you come into a Belong village you will receive a written contract along with a written statement of the terms and conditions covering your stay. These explain clearly what fees will be charged, what care and services you will receive and all aspects of your stay with us.

Also, like all care homes in the UK, our villages are subject to inspection by the Care Quality Commission to ensure we meet regulatory standards and evaluate the quality of our service against the five key lines of enquiry: Caring, Safe, Effective, Responsive and Well-led. You can find a copy of the most recent inspection on the CQC website and this is also accessible via the relevant location page of Belong’s website.

Most people pay some costs, some people pay all the costs and a few pay little or no costs, with the local authority paying for the rest.

Currently, people with savings and assets of £23,250 or more pay for all of their accommodation and personal care. Assets may include the house you are living in if it is your property. People’s ability to pay is means tested.

There are a number of benefits and allowances that people may be eligible for, depending on the level of need. These include Attendance Allowance, Pension Credit, Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding and the NHS Funded Nursing Care (FNC) contribution.

Belong works closely with the local authority and all our residents to make sure that they can access all the benefits they are eligible for and that their funding is on a secure basis. Refer to a funding advice source, such as for more information.

If you have capital or assets above the Government threshold of £23,250 then you will normally have to pay for your own care, unless you are eligible for any NHS funding contributions.

What is taken into account?

- Net worth of any property owned (exemptions apply)

- Money in the bank / building society

- Stocks / shares / ISAs etc

- Right to recieve money from trust

What is not taken into account?

- Personal possessions

- Surrender value of any life insurance or endowment policy

- The capital alue of any occupational pension fund, trust fund or annuity in which a person has a life interest.

However, even if you have assets above the Government threshold, you may still be eligible for benefits or funding sources that are not means-tested, such as NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding, the nursing care element or attendance allowance. This is assessed by the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and can contribute to the weekly cost of your care.

This largely depends on how your assets are structured and the arrangements you make for paying your fees. If this is something you are concerned about, you may wish to access advice from specialists in funding issues for older people such as
This is a not-for-profit website containing a wealth of impartial information on all aspects of long term care funding, which can also help you access advice from qualified and experienced specialist care fees advisers.

State benefits for which you may be eligible include pension credit (savings or guaranteed) or attendance allowance, which is a non-means tested, tax-free benefit, for people aged 65 or over who are physically or mentally disabled.

There are various sources of funding for care but the main two if you are seeking assistance are the local authority (social services) and the pension service (formerly the Benefits Agency).

State-funding from the local authority is not usually sufficient to meet Belong’s household fees. Therefore a contribution would be required to make up the difference between the local authority rate and the room rate. Legally, this contribution must be paid by a third party, i.e. not the person assessed to move into the village. However, the contribution can be shared between any number of family members / other third parties.

There are various sources of funding for care but the main two if you are seeking assistance are the local authority (social services) and the pension service (formerly the Benefits Agency). There is also funding available from the NHS; see the sections on CCG funding below.

You will need to approach social services, who will decide if you are eligible for local authority funding. If your capital is above the government threshold of £23,250, you are not entitled to financial assistance from the local authority.

If your capital is below the government threshold of £14,250, you will receive local authority funding. If your capital is between £14,250 and £23,250 then you will pay a contribution, which is based on actual income plus any assumed income from savings. A contribution rate of £1 per £250, between the lower and higher limits (Scotland and Wales vary) will apply.

We may be able to offer our deferred payment scheme. The scheme enables you to move into a Belong village whilst the sale of your house is progressing. You would need to pay an agreed amount towards your care; the remainder would be paid upon completion of your house sale. The deferred payment scheme is an interest free loan. However, interest may be charged after six months. Belong pays its own solicitor fees, so you would only have to pay for your own.

If you have been assessed as requiring registered nursing care that is not provided directly by the Primary Care Trust, you will receive CCG funding to cover the cost of providing a registered nurse at Belong. This element of funding is not means tested and will be paid directly to Belong and will be offset against your weekly nursing care fees.

CCG Continuing Healthcare is the name given to a package of services which is arranged and funded by the CCG for people outside hospital with ongoing health needs. You can get continuing healthcare in any setting, including your own home or in a care home. CCG continuing healthcare is free to you and is not means tested. If your overall care needs show that your primary need is a health one, you should qualify for continuing healthcare.

The primary health need is assessed by looking at all of your care needs and relating them to four key indicators:

Nature – the type of condition or treatment required and its quality and quantity

Complexity – symptoms that interact, making them difficult to manage or control

Intensity – one or more needs which are so severe that they require regular interventions

Unpredictability – unexpected changes in condition that are difficult to manage and present a risk to you or to others.

If CCG Continuing Healthcare funding is granted, an agreement will be put in place with the CCG and Belong to pay this directly to Belong.

The facilities and staffing at our Belong villages have been designed to meet the changing demands of our residents. If you are living in a Belong village and require additional support or more specialised care, we can nearly always arrange for you to receive this extra support without moving out of the village.

If your care needs change, there may be implications for funding sources or other financial implications. Financial and care needs are therefore discussed and assessed if anything happens to trigger a change in circumstances.

Immediate care insurance policies may be suitable if you are currently considering moving into a care home/village. It involves paying a lump sum at the time you decide you need care.

The cost is based on how long the insurer thinks you will need care for, and the level of care you will need. While the costs can seem a large amount, it will provide a fixed payment for as long as you need care, and can protect the rest of your assets.

Payments are tax-free if they are made directly to a care home/village and are portable if you decide to move.

All policies are different so we would suggest you speak with our customer support advisor for more information. To arrange an appointment, please contact your nearest village.

Please find below a list of organisations that offer advice on paying for long term care and related issues, such as benefits. They are all free to approach but you should check if there are any costs involved if you decide to use their services.

Age UK

For advice and information on a wide range of issues to make life
more enjoyable and fulfilling for older people

Freephone: 0800 169 6565 I

Assured Wealth and Estate Planning

Offering a comprehensive financial planning service for all your investment and protection needs.

Contact: Mark Jones - Mobile: 07912 259 928 I Email:

Department for Work and Pensions, Benefits Enquiry Line

For information on all benefits for the disabled and their carers, including
Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance

Freephone: 0800 882 200 I


Benefits advice online - get benefits advice for you, your family
or for someone else

Paying For Care

Specialist advice on paying for long-term care

Belong has used all reasonable care in compiling the content of this guidance but can provide no guarantee as to the accuracy of any information in this document and cannot accept liability for any errors or omissions. Belong shall not be liable to any person for any loss or damage that may arise from the use of the information contained in this document. The information contained in any such material is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional advice.