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Paying for a care home

Deferred payment scheme

The universal deferred payment scheme means that people should not be forced to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for their care.

By entering into a deferred payment agreement, we agree to do one of the following:

  • defer the payment of charges due to us from you, for the costs of meeting your needs in a care home or supported living accommodation
  • defer the repayment of a loan to you in instalments, to cover the costs of your care and support in a care home or supported living accommodation

Deferring payment can help people to delay the need to sell their home, and provides peace of mind during a time that can be challenging for them and their loved ones as they make the transition into care.

A deferral can last until death. However, many people choose to use a deferred payment agreement as a ‘bridging loan’ to give them time and flexibility to sell their home when they choose to do so. This is entirely up to you to decide.

Who is eligible for deferred payments?

You should be eligible if:

  • You own your own home
  • You live in or are moving to a care home on a permanent basis
  • You have less than £23,250 in capital and savings
  • Nobody else, such as a spouse, partner or dependent child needs to continue living in your home

You will need to speak to our Income Collection Team to discuss your circumstances to see if you are eligible for the deferred payment scheme.

Contact the Income Collection Team

Contact us to discuss payment options or to set up a Direct Debit. Please tell us your customer account number when you contact us.

Telephone: 03330 135 860 - choose Option 1
Textphone: 0845 758 5592

Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm

Postal address:
Income Collection Service
Essex County Council
PO Box 4, County Hall

More information

See the Care Act guidance on deferred payments on GOV.UK.

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