Funding Your Home Care

How much you personally pay for your home care will depend on a number of factors, including your income, savings and investments. 

 

Sometimes care may be funded in full or in part from your local council, depending on your individual circumstances. 

Ways of Funding Your Home Care

There are three main ways in which people people for their home care – through self-funding, through Direct Payments from their Local Authority, or via NHS Continuing Healthcare. 

1. Self-Funding

Many people pay for their home care and support using their own private funds or with help from family or friends.

There are many routes to consider:

  • Personal savings or investments – You could choose to use income from your company and/or state pensions or unlock some of your personal savings or investments such as stocks and shares.
  • Equity Release – You could choose to use equity release as a way of unlocking tax-free cash to enable you to stay in the home you love whilst funding the care and lifestyle you deserve.
  • Health Insurance – If you have personal health insurance, it’s worth a call to your provider to check to see if your policy covers you for home care and support.
 

Make sure you’re claiming all the benefits you’re entitled to

It’s worth a call to your local council to see if you could be eligible for any other state benefits that could improve your overall financial situation, thereby enabling you to pay more easily for your home care.

 

Attendance Allowance is a benefit for people over State Pension age who need extra help to stay independent at home, due to an illness or disability. If you’re under State Pension age, you may be eligible for Personal Independence Payment instead. If you have a personal carer (a family member or friend), they could be eligible for Carer’s Allowance.

 

These benefits are not means-tested, so don’t take into account your income and savings.


2. Social Services – Direct Payments

If you’re having trouble with everyday tasks such as washing, cooking and getting dressed, you or your GP can ask your local council for a care needs assessment. They will talk to you about your health, the home care you need and what support you currently have, in order to establish what help you need to enable you to stay independent and in your own home for longer.

 

If you meet the eligibility criteria, the local authority will then carry out a further assessment of your financial situation to see whether you will be charged for the home care and support and if so, how much.

If your local council does an assessment and agrees you are eligible for care and support at home, they will then carry out a means test. This will take into account your income and savings. Critically though, unless you are going into residential care (a care home) then this will not take into account the value of your property.

 

Here’s how the means test for social care will look at your income and savings, and how this will affect what you pay for care:

 

Your capital

What you will have to pay

£23,250 or more

You must pay full fees (known as ‘self-funding’).

 

Between £14,250 and £23,250  

The local council will fund some of your care     and you will contribute to the rest.

 

Less than £14,250

This will be ignored and won’t be included in the means test – the local council will pay for your care. However, they will still take your eligible income into account.

 

Certain types of income such as money from certain disability benefits and pensions, may not be counted in the means test. This is the same for certain types of capital. All other income and capital can be taken into account.

 

If all your eligible income is taken into account in your means test, you must be left with an income of £189/week, if you’re single and above Pension Credit qualifying age. This is known as the Minimum Income Guarantee.

 

If you are eligible for financial support to pay for your home care, you can choose to receive a direct payment or a personal budget, rather than allowing your local council to arrange the homecare services on your behalf. Direct payments are cash payments made to you, specifically to cover the cost of services that your care needs assessment deemed necessary. You can then use this money to buy services from a registered care provider such as Sirius Homecare.

 

Many people prefer the additional choice and control Direct Payments gives them, as they can then choose their own provider based on their research and personal preferences or a recommendation from a friend, rather than simply accepting what is given to them by the council. If the direct payments don’t cover the full cost of your chosen service, you can ‘top up’ the difference using your own personal funds.

3. NHS Continuing Healthcare

 

Under certain circumstances, you may be entitled to have your home care costs paid for by NHS

  • You have a long-term medical condition that requires substantial continuing health care at home
  • You are over 18 years of age and have a ‘primary health need’ i.e. your main need for home care and support is due to your medical condition. If you are assessed as needing continuing healthcare then, as with other NHS services, the care you receive will be free. Unlike social care it will not be dependent on your ability to pay.
 

To find out if you are eligible, you’ll need to ask for an assessment by a GP, health professional or social worker.

We know there’s a lot to think about, and it can be a very confusing and stressful time when deciding on the different options available to you. If you’d like an informal chat to discuss any of the information on this page, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

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