Who Qualifies for Care Funding from their Local Authority?
For anyone seeking full-time live-in home care, either for themselves, their partner or a family member, the issue of how care is funded is complex. Whilst self-funding the entire cost of live-in care seems the most obvious and straightforward option, for many people in later life this is simply impracticable.
In certain circumstances, however, you or your loved one may qualify for care funding from your Local Authority. There are two main categories of discretionary subsidy for care costs: healthcare funding and social care funding.
To determine whether or not you may be eligible to receive care funding based upon your individual healthcare or social care needs it is important to understand the broad definition of each.
The National Health Service interprets healthcare needs and social care needs as follows:
- Healthcare needs
“in general terms it can be said that such a need is one related to the treatment, control or prevention of a disease, illness, injury or disability, and the care or aftercare of a person with these needs (whether or not the tasks involved have to be carried out by a health professional).”
- Social care needs
“(broadly speaking) a social care need is one that is focused on providing assistance with activities of daily living, maintaining independence, social interaction, enabling the individual to play a fuller part in society, protecting them in vulnerable situations, helping them to manage complex relationships and (in some circumstances) accessing a care home or other supported accommodation.”
It should be noted that these are not legally binding definitions and that the terms ‘healthcare needs’ and ‘social care needs’ cover a vast range of individual circumstances and criteria. Therefore, if you are in any doubt about whether or not your care needs qualify you or your loved one for care funding according to the definitions outlined above it is recommended that you seek professional legal or medical guidance for clarification.
Do I qualify for full or partial local authority care funding?
Before care funding can be allocated your local authority will require that you are means-tested to determine whether or not you qualify. Under current rules, residents of England or Northern Ireland who hold assets (which may include savings, investments and property) valued at £23,250 or more will not qualify for care funding and will be expected to cover their own care fees, whether they choose a residential nursing home or live-in home care, in full. The assets value threshold is slightly higher for residents in Scotland and Wales.
If, currently, your combined assets are deemed to be worth less than £14,250 you will qualify for care funding and will not be expected to contribute anything towards care fees for you or your loved one.
In cases where the assets possessed are valued at a sum between £14,250 and £23,250 you will qualify for partial care funding and will be expected to contribute the balance of payments for your care.
When assessing your eligibility to receive healthcare needs or social care needs funding your local authority will also take household income into consideration. For this reason it is recommended that you fully investigate, and take advantage of, any other benefits for which you may be eligible as otherwise a local authority means test may incorrectly assume that you are already claiming your full benefits entitlements.
Award-winning The Good Care Group provides exceptional fully-managed live-in care services which, whilst comparable in price to care obtained in a residential nursing or care home, offer far greater benefits. You can find out how our quality one-to-one home care can help you or a loved one to retain a fulfilled and independent life here. Alternatively, to speak to someone about your home care requirements please call 0203 728 7577.