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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
Under certain circumstances, you may be entitled to have your home care costs paid for by NHS
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.
Not sure which care service you need? Complete our quick online assessment to help you to find the home care service that’s right for you.