When you reach the time of needing care and support, how you pay for that care can be an added stress and the way forward can seem daunting. However, it is definitely worth taking the time to find the best way to finance your care once you have decided the best type of support for your own specific circumstances. We have put together some guidance to help you along the way.
1. Contact your Local Authority to have a care assessment
Social services at your local council will be obliged to offer a care needs assessment to anyone who requests one. They will carry out a financial assessment to decide if you are eligible for funding support. If you are eligible to receive support, you can receive this as a Direct Payment to cover some or all of your care needs, whether it be in your own home or a residential care home. If you live alone, your home will be included in the care assessment if you have opted to move into a care home. However, if you have care at home your house is not included in a financial assessment. You can use the Direct Payment to pay your chosen care provider yourself or the local authority can organise the payment for you.
2. NHS Continuing Health Care Funding
If you have a long-term complex health need, you may be eligible for free social care arranged and funded solely by the NHS. NHS continuing healthcare can be provided in your own home, as well as in a care home. To apply for this funding, you would be assessed by a team of healthcare professionals who would look at the type of help you need, how complex and intense your needs are and how unpredictable they may be. Your eligibility is based on your assessed needs, and not your condition, and your views about your care and support needs would also be considered. If you were not eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, you would be referred to your local council to see if you are eligible for support from them. Sometimes, the NHS may pay for part or all of a package of support.
From April, if you qualify for CHC funding it can be in the form of a ‘Personal Health budget’. This gives you more choice and flexibility of what support you need, and who you can obtain it from.