Paying for your care can feel daunting. We’re here to put your mind at rest.
Cost is a significant factor when you’re considering any form of care. So knowing your options – from healthcare funding to benefits entitlement – will help you make a better decision and lift a weight from your shoulders. Our friendly advisors are always here to help.
When it comes to paying for live-in care, most of us have four main options…
1. Healthcare funding
If you have complex, ongoing healthcare needs, you may be eligible for Continuing Healthcare (CHC), a package of care arranged and funded entirely by the NHS. Your eligibility is determined by an assessment, which looks closely at your needs before recommending the level of care you should receive.
CHC is non means-tested but the qualification criteria are strict. If you are eligible, you may be given the option of a Personal Health Budget.
- Personal Health Budgets
Personal Health Budgets were introduced to give anyone eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare more freedom over how they receive it. Your Personal Health Budget is paid as a tax-free sum – how much will depend on your needs – that you can use to set up a care package with the provider of your choice.
- Who is eligible?
NHS Continued Healthcare is awarded when your primary need for care relates to your health. The assessment will look in detail at how complex, intense or unpredictable your needs might be.
As a first step, ask your GP for an initial assessment. If the outcome suggests you may be eligible, you’ll be referred for a full assessment by a team of healthcare professionals – a Clinical Commissioning Group – who will make a final recommendation.
If you are entitled to NHS Continuing Healthcare, you’ll be asked how and where you wish your care to be received and which organisation(s) you would like to provide it.
- CHC and your other entitlements
Being deemed eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare whilst living at home does not mean that other benefits to which you may be entitled will stop. For example, if you were already claiming Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance, you would continue to do so as normal.
The Good Care Group looks after many people with Personal Health Budgets, working closely with NHS teams to ensure the best possible outcomes. Please call one of our team on 0800 1234567 for more information.
- Care To Be Different
We work with Care to Be Different, an organisation that helps eligible families secure NHS Continuing Healthcare funding. You can find out more about them and request their help here.
- Ineligible for CHC?
Even if you are deemed ineligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare, there are other care funding options open to you.
Please read the Social care funding, Benefits entitlements and Privately funded care sections below to find out more.
2. Social care funding
Every one of us is entitled to an assessment of our care needs from our local authority. Unlike healthcare funding, it will be means tested.
So if you are eligible for social care, a financial assessment will establish if you need to fund all or part of the cost.
- Who is eligible?
If your financial assets – typically your savings, investments and your property (if you live alone) – are worth over £23,350, you are deemed to be
a full cost payer and will not receive any state funding for your care needs.
If your financial assets are worth between £14,250 and £23,350 you will receive part funding for your care needs.
If your financial assets are worth less than £14,250, you will receive the highest level of funding, although you may still be required to pay a small proportion of your income to cover your care needs.
Initially, you should get in touch with your local authority and ask for a care assessment. You can search for their contact details here.
- Direct payments
Rather than accepting a care package from your local authority, you can receive your funding as direct payments into your bank account and use them to pay the care provider of your choice. If necessary, you can top up the payments yourself to cover any shortfall.
Many of our customers use their direct payments to help fund the outstanding care we provide. To find out more, please call one of our friendly advisors on 0800 1234567.
- Ineligible for social care?
Even if you are deemed ineligible for social care, there are other care funding options open to you.
Please read the Healthcare funding, Benefits entitlements and Privately funded care sections below to find out more.
3. Benefits entitlements
When you’re exploring the options for funding live-in care, it’s easy to overlook a state benefit to which you might be entitled. So as a first step, it’s worth making sure you’re claiming everything you can.
We’ve listed the main benefits here, but you may be able to claim others, depending on your circumstances. Not all of them are means tested and could provide a valuable contribution to your care costs.
- Attendance Allowance
Anyone aged over 65 with a continuing need for personal care because of a physical or mental disability can claim Attendance Allowance (AA). If eligible, you’ll receive weekly amounts of either £57.30 (if you need care during the day) or £85.60 (for care day and night). AA is non-means tested and tax-free. You can apply by completing an online form.
- Personal Independence Payment (formerly Disability Living Allowance)
The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) replaced the Disability Living Allowance as a tax-free, non-means tested benefit. It provides financial assistance to anyone between the ages of 16 and 64 dealing with long term ill-health or disability.
The amount you might receive will vary between £22.65 and £145.35 per week, depending on your individual needs, which will be assessed by a health professional. You can claim for PIP or Attendance Allowance, but not both. Apply for PIP by calling the Department of Work and Pensions on 0800 917 2222.
- Pension credit
There are two parts to Pension Credit, both based on your income. The first, called Guaranteed Credit, is designed to top up your state pension if your weekly income falls below a minimum threshold.
The second is Savings Credit, which you might receive in addition to Guaranteed Credit, or on its own. It’s a payment that rewards you for making some provision for your retirement. The quickest way to apply for Pension Credits is by calling the Department for Work and Pensions on 0800 99 1234.
- Council Tax reductions
If your savings are less than £16,000 you may qualify for reduced council tax payments. With a formal diagnosis of dementia, you may even become exempt. If you already claim a single occupancy reduction, you won’t lose this entitlement if you have a live-in carer. To find out more, you should contact your local authority.
- Ineligible for social care?
Even if you are not entitled to any state benefits, there are other care funding options open to you.
Please read the Healthcare funding, Social care funding and Privately funded care sections on this page to find out more.
4. Privately funded care
If you are deemed ineligible for social or healthcare funding, don’t worry. We advise many thousands of customers who find themselves in that situation.
We work in partnership with Symponia – respected specialists in financial care planning – who can help you structure your finances in a way that removes worry and doubt from the future. Here are just a couple of the options you might consider...
- Immediate Care Plan
Immediate Care Plans (ICPs) are a tax-efficient way of covering all or part of your care costs. The plan will pay an agreed, tax-free amount at regular intervals, directly to the care provider, for as long as care is needed. Payments can be set to rise over time, to keep pace with any increases in cost. A lump sum is required to purchase the plan, with the calculation being based on your age and health.
- Equity release
You may be able to benefit financially from releasing an amount of equity in your property to fund your care costs. It’s a manageable way to raise capital, income or a combination of the two while continuing to live in your own home.
To discuss these options and more with a Symponia expert local to you, visit www.symponia.co.uk
“We turned to The Good Care Group after being severely let down by a home care agency, and we have been glad that we did so. Not only were the care team trained and experienced to support dementia, they took time to understand its impact on both my mother and father and their relationship. My parents are now able to live a peaceful life at home, despite the dementia and physical issues of older age, with warm-hearted caring individuals who have now become very much part of our family.”