Public Funding for Care Support
What is Public Funding?
Public funding is provided for individuals who are entitled to help in paying for their care fees. Your local authority social services departments are responsible for arranging funding for people who are assessed as requiring care either in a care home or their own home and who need assistance with funding.
The first thing that is required is an assessment and this can be arranged via your local authority social services department. The local authority is only able to provide funding to individuals who have been assessed and are eligible for services and help.
If your local authority decides that the person does not meet their criteria for needing care in a care home or at home then they are under no obligation to fund them. This is regardless of the person’s financial situation. If you disagree with the decision, you can highlight your case using the local authority complaints procedure. Your local social services department can explain how to do this and may be able to help guide you through the process.
Do I have to sell my home to pay for care?
If the person who is being assessed owns their home, this may be counted as capital and in some cases it may have to be sold to meet the cost of the care home.
If however the person does not wish to sell their home, or is having difficulty selling it the local authority may in some cases offer what is known as ‘a deferred payments scheme’. This basically means that they will provide an interest-free loan to cover the amount needed for the care fees. This is then paid back when the person’s home is eventually sold.
In some circumstances a person’s home will not be taken into account or deemed as capital if it is occupied by any of the following people
- A wife, husband or an unmarried partner
- A close relative who is under the age of 16 or above the age of 60
- A disabled relative who is under the age of 60.
Do I have to go into a care home?
No. A care home is not the only option. It is now possible for people to continue to live in their own home this helps to promote independence and keeps them comfortable in their own familiar surroundings.
What services are available?
Care that is provided in the service users own home may range from hourly home care visits to that of a live-in carer.
What are hourly home care visits?
Hourly home care visits are when a trained and experienced carer visits you in your own home to help assist you with every day tasks. These can range from assistance in getting in and out of bed, personal care tasks, dressing, medication and some domestic duties. This can be provided on an ad-hoc hourly basis or to a more regular formal daily schedule.
This can offer peace of mind and assistance to those wishing to stay in their own home whilst needing extra care and support. It helps to bridge the gap between independence and the right support whilst putting our service users first.
What is Live-in care?
It is where a trained and experienced carer provides care to a service user in their own home. They live with the service user for an agreed period of time and help them to carry out their daily routines. As they are living with you they will need to have their own bedroom.
Live-in care helps the service user to remain in their own home surrounded by their belongings and home comforts. Their friends and family are able to visit as they have always done.
A set fee is charged for the service and it is often a lot cheaper than moving into a care home. Our carers follow an individual care plan which is tailored to meet your needs.
They are able to help with all aspects of personal care, shopping, housework, cooking and ensuring that the correct medication is taken at the right time. It is often a desired solution if family live some distance away thus giving them peace of mind and providing their loved one with companionship.
If an individual is assessed as needing care in a care home or within their own home social services will carry out a financial assessment, this is mainly to help determine how much that person will have to contribute towards the cost of their care. It may also highlight benefits to which you are entitled to but not yet claiming for
During this financial assessment they will look at and consider both your income and capital. Income will include any money that you receive on a regular basis − for example from pensions and benefits. Capital includes any investments you may have including savings accounts and in certain situations the value of your home.
If a care home is the best option then before you make the move, it is good practice to double check what services are covered by the fees that are being paid. This helps to ensure that there is no confusion with the local authority or the care home about any ‘extras’. As these can often lead to undue stress and upset that can arise from such ‘misunderstandings’.
If the person holds capital jointly then it is only their share that is taken into account during the assessment period − it is normal practice to divide the share on a 50-50 basis unless otherwise stated and clarified during the assessment.
There are some benefits which are not regarded as ‘income’ for example the mobility component of the disability living allowance. War widows pension although deemed as income is only partially counted as an income.
If the local authority is paying for all of your care fees then any benefits the service user is entitled to will be used towards the cost of their care. This will include their state pension.
Your local authority is able to help you with regard to care fees and the limits that they will pay. With regard to care homes these may differ from residential homes to those that provide nursing care.
What if the care home I like is more expensive?
The local authority may also agree to pay for a place in a more expensive home if a third party, such as a family member agrees to pay the difference. This is often called a top-up fee and in most situations it cannot be paid by the resident.
The amount of the top-up fee is the actual difference between what the local authority have agreed to pay for your care and the extra cost of the care home that is providing your care.