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How care funding works
If you’re at the stage in life at which you’re considering obtaining care for yourself or a loved one, there’s a lot to think about. In addition to determining the level of care you need and whether relocation to a residential care home or receiving care in your own home is the best option, there is also the matter of how you or your loved one will cover the ongoing costs of care.
Not everyone can afford to pay for their care from their own income and savings alone but financial support is available to those who need and qualify for it. If you find yourself needing assistance with paying for your full-time care it’s useful to have an idea of how care funding works.
Basically there are two types of care funding for which you may be eligible. These are social care funding which may be granted by your local authority, and healthcare funding which is provided by the NHS.
Social care is the responsibility of Local Authorities and its provision is means tested in terms of need and eligibility. There is no formal definition of Social Care, but it’s often described as dealing with the “activities of daily living”. This means the need for help with day to day activities like feeding, washing, dressing, mobility, using the toilet, etc., but it also includes requiring help in terms of maintaining independence, social interaction and protection from vulnerable situations.
Health care, the responsibility of the NHS and is free at the point of need regardless of your financial status. A healthcare need relates to the treatment, control or prevention of a disease, illness, injury or disability and the aftercare of a person with these conditions. Whilst not enshrined in law, this definition of healthcare needs is set out in what is known as the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS Funded Nursing Care (October 2018 Revised).
How local authority care funding works
In simple steps, local care authority finding works as follows:
- You initially discuss your care needs with your GP or health consultant
- You contact the Adult Services department of your local authority
- An assessment of your care needs is arranged which may also refer to your GP
- A detailed report based upon your health and care assessment is drawn up
- A financial assessment is undertaken to determine your ability to pay care costs. This will take into account your income, savings and assets.
- Depending upon how your financial assessment aligns with national funding thresholds you will be deemed eligible either for full or partial care funding or ineligible for any financial assistance.
- If you are eligible for funding you can either ask your local authority to manage your budget and find suitable care for you or opt to receive direct payment of the funds yourself and make your own care arrangements.
How NHS care funding works
If you are seeking care at home rather than relocation into a residential care facility you may be eligible to receive NHS Continuing Health Care. This is a tax-free non means-tested benefit but the eligibility criteria for qualification are fairly strict.
Step-by-step, NHS Continuing Health Care works like this:
- You request a Continuing Health Care assessment from your GP or social worker
- An initial ‘screening’ conducted at home or in hospital by a medical professional will determine whether or not you may be eligible for funding.
- If you are likely to be eligible you will undergo a thorough assessment of your condition and ongoing healthcare needs.
- Each individual need will be categorised either as ‘low’, ’moderate’ ,’high’, ‘severe’ or ‘priority’. If you have at least one ‘priority’ need or more than one ‘severe’ need you should be eligible for support.
- The results of your assessment will be sent to your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which will make the final decision as to whether or not you receive financial assistance from the NHS.
- The CCG will write to you with their decision and the reasoning behind it.
- If you are deemed eligible you will be invited to discuss with the CCG the details of how and where you wish your care to be received and which organisation(s) you would prefer to provide your care.
Alternative options for care funding
If you are deemed ineligible for local authority or NHS care funding there are still options open to you. These include taking out a care fee annuity plan; an insurance policy designed to provide ongoing payments for care fees in exchange for an upfront lump sum investment, or releasing some of the equity in your home by arranging either a lifetime mortgage or agreeing to a home reversion plan.
The Good Care Group employs and trains its own carers to deliver the highest standards of live-in care tailored to the needs of the individual. We are registered with the Care Quality Commission and are proud to have received the highest possible rating from them. We’re proud to have won more care industry awards and nominations for our outstanding care services than any other live-in home care provider in the UK.
Our ambition is to be the leading provider of live-in care which enables older people to remain in their own home and community, living independently and enjoying quality of life for as long as possible. You can find out more about our outstanding home care services here. Alternatively, to speak to someone about your home care requirements please call us on 020 3728 7577.