Am I Missing Out on Help to Pay for Care Costs?
Paying for care in later life is probably one of the biggest financial commitments most of us will make outside of buying a house. There are just over 400,000 people currently living in residential care in the UK, according to a recent Government report, and a larger number receiving a variety of care services at home.
It’s important to discover what benefits you are entitled to and what support you can get. The trouble is many people requiring care don’t even apply for the basic attendance allowance, a government benefit which is available free to those who need care at home.
Here is our quick guide to finding funding and support for your social and health care:
1. NHS Continuing Health Care
If you are someone with a disability or a long-term or complex health issue, you can apply to have care provided and funded by the NHS. You will need to get an assessment for this to see if you are eligible and it’s aimed at health rather than social care.
2. Funded Nursing Care [FNC]
Everyone who is assessed by the NHS as needing nursing care are entitled to receive as a minimum an FNC payment towards the nursing element of their care in a registered nursing home.
It is currently set at £158.16 per week and is paid direct to the Provider and should be deducted from the overall fee e.g. if your fee is £1000 per week for a placement in a registered nursing home then £158.16 per week would be deducted from this leaving you to find £841.84 per week based on assessment of you being ineligible for NHS Continuing Health Care [see above]or any financial assistance from the Local Authority.
3. Local Authority Funding
This can be a little more difficult to unravel and varies from location to location. Your local council should provide assistance whether you are in residential care or having care provided at home. A lot will depend on what you require and how much you can afford to pay towards this, the latter usually being defined by a financial assessment.
If you have savings of less than £23,250, the council may pay for all or part of your care. This level includes the value of your home if you are planning to move into residential care. If your savings are over this threshold, you will have to self-fund your care.
If you have care services at home, the value of your house is not taken into account when assessing your level of savings.Find out more about council funding for care.
4. Benefits You May Be Entitled To
Many people who require care may never have claimed any benefits before. Applying should provide useful funds to help deliver care. They are benefits that, if you are eligible, you are entitled to receive.
The one which is often not claimed is the attendance allowance. You qualify for this if you are mentally or physically disabled or over the state pension age and require care. There are two rates: £59.70 or £87.65 a week depending on your needs.
Another benefit that you may be eligible for is the Disability Living Allowance (now being replaced by Personal Independence Payment).
Even if you are largely self-funding your care or the care for a loved one, you could be eligible for these benefits and it’s worth finding out.
Self-Funding Your Care
The first thing you need to do if you are self-funding is understand what care you actually need. This will vary from person to person and could well change over time. You might only require a carer to come into your home for a couple of hours a day to help with your daily living needs.
The carer will need to be paid an hourly rate, usually around £20 per hour. At the other end of the spectrum, you may need to move into a residential, or nursing home where charges can between £600 and £1,000 a week.
It’s important to make sure you understand what options are open to you and getting the best advice always makes sense. At Wessex Care, we provide residential nursing care as well as community care tailored to your specific needs.Contact us today to find out more