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:
- 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.
- People aged under 65 may be eligible for Disability Living Allowance instead. A higher rate of Attendance Allowance is paid to over 65s living with a terminal illness.
- Follow this link to find out more or visit www.direct.gov.uk and search for Attendance 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.
- 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.
Respite Voucher Schemes
- Some local authorities offer a respite voucher scheme to anyone who provides un-paid care for a friend or family member.
- Vouchers are issued to eligible carers in lieu of care hours, to give them a break from caring.
- The local authority voucher scheme is not means tested.
- Contact the Adult Social Services department of your local authority to find out if this applies in your area.
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.