Funding and Planning

One of the first things to establish is whether or not you qualify for financial support

If you are arranging care for yourself or a loved one over the age of 18 then there are various means of financial support you can investigate:

Attendance Allowance

  • Anyone aged 65 or over who needs help with their personal care, due to physical or mental disability, can apply to receive Attendance Allowance.
  • This is a tax-free Government benefit which is not means-tested.
  • The basic rate of Attendance Allowance (£54.45 a week) is given to over 65s who need frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night.
  • A higher rate of Attendance Allowance (£81.30 a week) is available to over 65s who need help and supervision throughout both the day and the night, or are living with a terminal illness.
  • People aged under 65 may be eligible for Personal Independence Payments instead. These payments range from £21.55 to £138.05 a week.
  • Follow this link to find out more or visit www.direct.gov.uk and search for Attendance Allowance.

Carers Allowance

  • If you are 16 or over and spend more than 35 hours a week caring for someone with disabilities, you may be eligible to receive Carers Allowance (£61.35 a week).
  • This taxable benefit is not available to people who are in full-time education, receive certain other benefits, or earn more than £102 a week after certain deductions.
  • Follow this link to find out more or visit www.direct.gov.uk and search for Carers Allowance.

Social Services Funding

  • Social Services Funding comes into effect if the person needing care has less than £23,250 in savings.
  • If this is the case, the first step is to ask your local Adult Social Services department to arrange a Community Care Assessment.
  • If the person in question is deemed eligible to receive council-supported care services, the local authority will decide a budget based upon their care needs.
  • The maximum hourly rate for home care services varies from one authority to another. It is unlikely to cover the full hourly cost of a quality home care service such as Right at Home.
  • However, as a result of a Government initiative to give individuals greater choice, you are now able to take control of your budget and top-up the hourly cost of receiving care from an agency of your choice. This route is called Direct Payments and  is designed to allow people greater control and choice over the care services they receive.To find out more about Direct Payments follow this link or visit www.nhs.uk/CarersDirect.

How do savings affect charges?

  • A person with savings over £23,250 will not receive any financial help.
  • For a person with savings between £14,250 and £23,250, £1 income for every £250 between these amounts is assumed.
  • Mortgage, rent, savings, expense due to disability etc. are all taken into consideration.
  • The amount left is their ‘available income’ and the person can be asked to contribute 65% of this towards the cost of their care.

Personal Health Budgets

  • Personal health budgets are funded by the NHS and can be used to implement a care and support plan that is agreed between the individual and their local NHS teams.
  • They are an optional way of achieving your health and well-being goals that give greater control over decision-making.
  • Once a care and support plan has been agreed, the individual can either manage their budget themselves or they can opt for the NHS team or a third party to manage it for them.
  • If managing their own budget, they will receive Direct Payments to spend on healthcare services they have chosen and arranged themselves. Alternatively, the NHS team or a third party will support them to identify the services they need, then arrange and pay for them on their behalf.
  • Personal health budgets are fully funded by the NHS and cannot be ‘topped up’.
  • To find out more follow this link.

NHS Continuing Care Funding

  • If you have a complex medical problem or needs that result from disability, accident or illness, you might qualify for free NHS Continuing Care.
  • This tends to be given to people who need nursing care rather than social care. It can cover healthcare costs, personal care, accommodation or support for carers if you are being looked after at home.
  • To find out if you are eligible for free NHS Continuing Care you must first undergo initial screening, then a more thorough assessment that is carried out by a team of two or more health and social care professionals who are involved in your care.
  • If your health is deteriorating rapidly, you can ask about a fast-track assessment to bypass the initial screening.
  • If you don’t qualify for NHS support at the first assessment and your circumstances change you can request a review through your GP or social worker. You may still qualify for Local Authority funding for some of your care needs.
  • To find out more about NHS Continuing Care follow this link.
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