Many people presume that receiving a bespoke care at home service is beyond their financial means; however, as more information about financing care becomes available in the public domain, care at home is becoming an increasingly popular option.
Funding for care can be a confusing subject area, however, by carrying out a little research and utilising resources available to you, your options become clearer and easier to understand.
You may be eligible to receive help with funding your care from the Government. You have the right to request a free care assessment from your local Social Services department; this can include a community care assessment and a means-tested financial assessment to see if you are eligible to receive support with the cost of your care.
If you have been assessed as needing care services, you may be offered direct payments. As part of this arrangement, monetary payments will be made by your local council directly to you so that you are able to organise and pay for your care service. These payments are designed to support you to remain living at home, encouraging independence and social inclusion in areas such as employment, education and leisure activities.
The Government is looking to increase the number of people who receive direct payments, allowing more people access to the benefits that they bring. If you are considered eligible for support with funding, your local council are duty bound to consider direct payments as an option for you, instead of providing services to meet your needs.
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding direct payments:
What are the benefits of direct payments?
The direct payment system allows you to:
How do I know if I am eligible?
Your first point of contact should be your local social services, who will send a social worker to assess your care needs. Provided they find that you are eligible to receive help from social services, you are then entitled to ask to receive direct payments to purchase your own care rather than social services providing the care.
Eligible individuals include:
What if I am unable to manage a direct payment on my own?
As well as giving you the option of receiving a direct payment, social services will usually offer their own support services, or be able to refer you to a local support group, to help you set your care up. They may even be able to provide care for you whilst you arrange your own care. The type of services provided can be from a list of local domiciliary care providers to advice on writing your own job advertisements and employing your own staff. You are also entitled to enlist the help of a responsible individual of your choosing, which may be a close friend or relative, to help you manage the direct payment scheme.
What if the care I require costs more than the value of my direct payment?
As you are effectively purchasing your own services, if you so wish, you can add your own funds to your direct payment to purchase services above the value of your direct payment. This allows you not only to buy your care from the person or organisation you prefer, but also to buy services in addition to those you care assessment states, should you wish to.
For further information on Direct Payments contact your local social services, or visit The DoH Easy Guide to Direct Payments.
Independent Living Fund
Funded by Central Government, the Independent Living Fund supports people with disabilities to live independently in their own homes, rather than in residential care.
Payments are made to people with disabilities so they can afford the employment costs, or associated employment costs, of a personal assistant or care agency to provide the support they need to remain living at home.
There are many things which the fund cannot be used to pay for, to understand what cannot be paid for with the fund; you can read more on the Government website.
Should you not be eligible for public funding, or would simply prefer to fund your care privately, you will need to source your care independently. Faced with so many different options and conflicting information, this can become both a time-consuming and overwhelming task.
If you are looking for support with financial planning, we would recommend that you contact an impartial Financial Advisor specialising in Care Fees. They can discuss options such as:
For more information you can contact Angela Guylee – Care Fees Planning Specialist.