Who pays for home care?
Working out the costs involved in home care and in particular who will pay for care can be a difficult and worrying time for families. In addition to the emotional strain of finding care for your loved ones, you need to navigate the confusing minefield of care finance.
This help very much depends on individual circumstances, but we have summarised some of the main options below.
Help with paying for care
There are a number of different schemes designed to help with cost of care. Non-means tested help is available to everyone who needs it, regardless of assets, while means-tested support is only available to those with assets below a certain amount.
Attendance Allowance and PIP
Attendance Allowance is provided by the Government to anyone over the age of 65 who requires personal care due to a disability. The payments of either £54.45 or £81.30 per week are dependent on the level of care required and are non-means tested, tax free and usually added to pension payments.
Those under 65 with long term health conditions or disabilities can apply for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) payments ranging from £21.55 and £138.05 a week.
Council tax reductions
People who are formally diagnosed with dementia or claiming Attendance Allowance can also apply for a council tax exemption or reduction. If your savings are less than £16,000 you can also potentially reduce council tax payments.
NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding
Those with complex medical conditions and ongoing care needs may be able to apply for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding, which if accepted covers 100% of care fees. The conditions covered by NHS Continuing Healthcare are quite specific, and are subject to a strict assessment. Care to be Different is an organisation that helps families through the process of applying for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding.
Local Authority Funding
Local Authority Funding is limited to those who have assets worth less than £23,250 in England (Scotland £25,250, Wales £23,750) including savings and property, and is subject to an assessment. Those who qualify get help depending on their assessment.
Pension credit may be available to those who have a weekly income less than £148.35 if you are single, £226.50 if you have a partner.
Financing options for home care
When assets are greater than the means tested threshold, individuals are responsible for funding their own care. In this situation, some of the options that might be available to you include:
Immediate Care Plan
Immediate Care Plans are designed to take away the stress of funding care. A lump sum is paid up front, which pays an agreed tax-free amount directly to the care provider for the rest of their life. Benefits can increase over the years to help keep pace with care fee increases.
Alternatively, you may be able to release equity from the home of the person to be cared for, allowing them to stay in their own while raising the capital needed to pay for home care.
We realise that paying for care is a complex issue, so we work with our partner Symponia, financial advisors who specialise in financing care. Members of Symponia are selected for their caring, empathic approach to helping families consider the options. Good Care Group recommend that you schedule an initial consultation with a Symponia advisor if you are considering care options, to get the best personal advice for your situation.