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 for care at home 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.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO PAY FOR MY OWN HOMECARE?
If you are paying for your own homecare (self-funding) you will need to arrange your care yourself. Costs for homecare vary across the country, but average around £15 per hour.
To find a homecare agency:
Ask friends or relatives for recommendations
The Homecare Association can give you details of home care providers that follow its code of practice
Your local adult social services department should be able to provide you with details of approved private agencies
WHO QUALIFIES FOR FUNDING?
Care needs assessment – How the council understand your needs:
Everyone has a care assessment regardless of their wealth and income. If you feel you or a loved one is in need of extra care and support, you should contact your local council for help. You will initially discuss with them the care needs required so they get an understanding of the level of support you will require. This is called the care needs assessment. The care needs assessment clearly maps out the personalised care you or a loved one will require. It will also recommend all the different choices you have about the type and way you will receive your care.
The Financial assessment – How the council understand your wealth and income:
A financial assessment is what your local council will use to determine whether you are able to afford to pay for your own care. The financial assessment and the care needs assessment determine the level of care first and the how much that care will cost and who is going to fund the care.
The National Health Service interprets healthcare needs and social care needs as follows:
“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
“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 local authority funding for care can be allocated 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 us on 0203 728 7577.
Talk to us about your care needs
To talk about your care needs, contact one of our friendly advisors. Calls from landlines are free.