Sources of Funding
Affording/paying for care of any kind is rarely a straightforward process. No one wants to feel as though they are having to compromise on the quality of care afforded to a loved one, yet finances can create barriers to accessing the type of care required. At Arbour Care we want to support you in accessing care, ensuring you have the information required to make an informed decision.
State Funded Care
One of the big problems in England is that state funded care is provided by 2 different government departments and despite years of political action aimed at joining up the two funding streams, finding the money remains confusing.
Our first recommendation when considering care funding will always be for you to speak to a reliable, independent financial adviser. The information that follows is designed to provide an overview of what is available from the state.
It is always worth remembering that everybody over the age of 65 who needs help with their care can apply for an Attendance Allowance. This is not means tested, but you are required to complete a form in order for a judgement to be made as to whether you qualify for the allowance. Many people underestimate their needs when completing the form so it is a good idea to seek help from someone who knows your condition well and can give a realistic view of your condition.
You need to apply for this as soon as you become aware that you may need care assistance, as it is rarely backdated.
There are 2 rates of Attendance Allowance, which depend on how your disability or illness affects you - £55.10 or £82.30 per week. You can find out more about this allowance by ringing the help line on 0345 605 6055 or visiting the Government Website.
Disability Living Allowance
If you are under 65 years of age you can claim for a Disability Living Allowance which comes in two parts: a mobility component and a care component.
Personal Independence Payment
This also come in two parts: a mobility component and a daily living component. These payments range from £21.80 to £82.30 per week according to your needs. Information about these 2 allowances are found on Government Website.
Continuing Health Care
Care is only free to you if you or your loved is in great need of care which, in times gone by, would have been provided for you in one of the old long-stay hospitals. This care is called Continuing Health Care and is provided by the NHS for people who meet their criteria for a very high level of care. It is important to note that this funding is not just for people living in care homes; it is often provided for people who are being cared for in their own homes.
Most people who are eligible for this care are at the end of their life or have disabilities of sufficient severity that they can do nothing for themselves. More information on this can be found on the Government Website.
Adult Social Care Services
You might be eligible for funding from your local council via their Adult Social Care Services (social services). This very much depends on the level of care needed and whether the person requiring the care has any assets worth over £14,250.
If you have more than £23,250, you may be asked to pay the full cost of your care and you will be described as a self-funder. If you have between £14,250 and £23,250 you will have to contribute towards the cost of your care
If you have less than £14,250 and you are assessed as requiring the level of care stipulated by the local council as being eligible for funding, then they will pay for your care at a level that they determine to be a fair cost for that care. They can take into account whether you are receiving Attendance Allowance when they are assessing you for financial help with community care.
To find out if you are eligible for local social services funding, you will need to participate in an assessment, taking a look at your current care needs plus your financial situation. To start the process, you need to look up your local social service department and speak to an advisor. Be warned, most social services accessed through a call centre, so you have to be prepared to be patient.
If your local council finds that you meet their eligibility criteria for funding, you will have the choice of either being provided with a personal budget or asking social services to arrange and manage your care. A personal budget means that you should have more choice and control over your care, however, should you choose to hire a carer directly, the new pension rules means that if you pay them more that £10,000 per year you will now be legally obliged to contribute towards a pension for them.