Paying for care and support requires careful consideration. We can offer advice and guidance on the best options for you.
We can provide advice and information on the following:
- Self-funded care options
- Funded care through social services or PCT
- Direct payments
- Benefits and allowances
Why not ask one of our team if you'd prefer a chat?
We know we can provide a great care service for you and always aim to offer the best value we can, click here for our package offers and options to suit your budget.
Hopefully, we have been able to answer many of your questions, but here's a few frequently asked questions that might help. Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have!
We know that the process of arranging and funding care can be a challenge; with that in mind here are a few frequently asked questions for you to consider. Remember, these are just for guidance based on our experience – we are happy to help with any other questions and if we don't know, we'll find out!
Do I have to pay for home care or can I get financial help?
Assessments are made on an individual basis. Each case is means tested against the amount of savings that you have and your social care needs.
Your local council should have information leaflets about its charging policies and the processes that they follow. You can find contact details for your local council, local authority and social services in the phone book or call us and we will try to help direct you.
What help can I get from my Local Authority?
Your Local Authority has specially trained staff who can help you by assessing the level and type of care you need, and advising on how to go about arranging it. They can do this for you whether or not you would pay for your care yourself.
If you are likely to need financial help towards your care costs, then your Local Authority will need to carry out the assessment first, before going on to consider your financial situation.
The assessment process differs slightly between Local Authorities, but will usually involve a home visit by an assessor. They will go through a list of questions designed to establish what your specific difficulties are, and what might help you overcome them. They will also ask you about how much and what help you think would be useful to you, to get an idea of your preferences.
Do I have to pay for my care if I receive it in my own home?
If your Local Authority arranges for you to receive care from organisations such as TLC Homecare in your own home then your income and assets will be assessed to decide whether you have to contribute towards the cost. The Local Authority can set its own criteria for means-testing and these can vary regionally.
If you make your own arrangements for care in your home directly with a care provider you will be expected to pay for it yourself. You may be able to claim Attendance Allowance to help towards the cost.
I own my home – will it be included in the means test?
If you own a property it will usually be included in your assets for the means test. There are a number of occasions when it cannot be included such as:
• Where your partner still lives in the property
• Where a relative aged 60 or over still lives in the property
There are some other occasions when a property, or its full value, cannot be included in the means test. It is a good idea to get expert advice if you are told that your property is going to be means tested.
If I am paying for my own care will I be eligible for any state benefits?
A common benefit for those who require care and pay for it themselves is attendance allowance. However, claiming benefits can become quite complex, so it may help to talk matters through with an expert.
What is Personalisation?
Personalisation is the Government's vision for transforming public services so that individuals can lead their lives as they want to. Services which promote the independence, choice and dignity of service users aspire to this vision. Personalisation focuses on giving service users the ability to make choices about how they want to live. One way that the Government has generated choice about the provision of care and support is through the introduction of personal budgets, individual budgets and direct payments.
What is an individual budget?
An individual budget is the allocation of resources or a cash sum to an individual to purchase care and support services; this could be for homecare.
Individual budgets combine funding from a range of different sources to which an individual is entitled. These might include the local authority's social care budget, integrated community equipment services grants, disabled facilities grants, supporting people grant, access to work grants and help from the independent living fund.
An individual budget groups together all the money that an individual is entitled to. This allows care services users to see exactly what money they have and what they can spend.
How can I spend an individual budget?
Individual budgets can be spent in several ways including, as a cash payment by the service user, by a care manager, by a trust, as an indirect payment to a third party or to be held by a domiciliary care provider, such as TLC-Homecare.
Am I entitled to an individual budget?
Any individual eligible for social care and support is also eligible to hold an individual budget. Like direct payments, an individual's eligibility and needs are assessed through the FACS (Fair Access to Care Services) process by the local authority. More information is available on FACS by visiting the Department of Health website, www.doh.gov.uk
What is a direct payment?
Direct payments are cash payments made to service users who require social care support. These cash payments equate to the money that would be spent on that individual's care by the Local Authority. The provision of cash payments allows the service user to choose to buy the services they want, from the domiciliary or other care service provider they want, rather than receiving services chosen for them by the local authority.
Am I entitled to a direct payment?
Any individual eligible for care services is automatically eligible for a direct payment. Local authorities are legally bound to offer direct payments to all potential and current service users. However, there is no obligation for the service user to accept a direct payment.
Can I "top up" my direct payment budget?
If you want to use a care service that charges more or you want to add on additional services to your care plan such as help with gardening or dog walking, you can, just let us know what you need and we can invoice you separately.
Where can I get advice on direct payments and individual budgets?
The National Centre for Independent Living can provide advice and support. You can visit www.ncil.org.uk for details of your local support scheme.
What other funding sources are there?
You should make sure that you claim all of the benefits that you are entitled to. More than £2bn is left unclaimed by older people each year. You can find out more about benefits by visiting www.directgov.uk by calling the Benefits Agency on 0800 88 22 00.
Where can I get independent financial advice from?
You should always make sure that any organisation that you seek advice from is registered with the Financial Services Authority. You can find a list of registered organisations by visiting www.fsa.gov.uk
You may also want to talk to a solicitor if you want to set up a power of attorney to let a relative or friend act on your behalf.
Some useful links for payment and funding information: