Funding Your Home Care
Funding your home care can be a real concern amongst disabled, elderly or vulnerable adults. You may not be able to complete all of the tasks around the home by yourself. Yo may find that you need assistance in day to day life. When you begin to realise that you require additional help at home, it can be difficult to know how to fund the care that you need.
You may also get funding towards your care but wish to pay more to enhance the services that you receive.
You may find yourself in a situation where the local authority has agreed a deferred payment period. You may need to pay these fees during the period of deferral.
If you have care needs or a disability there may be benefits available to help with extra costs. You may also be entitled to benefits if you are caring for someone with needs.
Financial support is available if you need more money to live comfortably in your home or if you need to pay to move into a care home. If you do not claim all of the other benefits available you may find that you are paying more towards your care costs than you need to. This is because financial support assessments assume you already claim all of the benefits available.
Disability benefits that provide help with your personal home care needs are additional payments to your income. These do not take into account your savings or income. These are PIP for 16 to 65 year old or the Disability Living Allowance for people under 16.
Personal Independence Payment
A Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is provided for people who find it difficult to do everyday tasks or to get around. PIP is not effected by your savings or income.
Disability Living Allowance
The Disability Living Allowance is available for persons under 16 who require extra costs towards personal care. This also offers help with mobility and getting around.
Council tax exemptions and discounts
If you are claiming certain benefits, you may be able to get a reduction in your Council Tax bill. The discount will depend on how much you receive from you PIP benefits. You will need to contact your local council to find out how much you will need to pay.
Once you reach retirement age, you are entitled to a state pension. The amount that you receive depends on National Insurance contributions that you have paid in. You will be guaranteed a minimum weekly pension which may need to be topped up by pension credits.
There are a number of NHS schemes available for low income households to help with health costs. This includes:
- Low Income Scheme
- Help with Dental Costs
- Prescription Costs
- Wig Costs
- Universal Credit
- Eye Care
- Travel Costs
Funding your long-term care
If you require care at home, you may need assistance in paying your home care costs. When you find that you are no longer to look after yourself properly or complete your household tasks life can become difficult. You may wish to employ a home care agency to offer some assistance. Assisted living can improve your comfort and make it easy for you to live a healthy and independent life.
It may seem as though the home care costs are too much. But there are a number of ways that you can afford care at home:
Immediate need care fee payment plan
An Immediate Need Care Fee Payment Plan is a payment that covers the shortfall between your care costs and your income. The amount of money that you get will depend on an assessment of your needs and current income.
Downsize you home
If your current property is too large, you can sell it and buy a smaller home. This frees up money available to fund your home care costs. When the local authority calculate how much they are willing to pay towards your care costs, they will use a means test. A means test will take into account your property, savings, income and benefits.
12 week property deferred payment agreements
A deferred payment agreement can be used to pay for residential care if your money is tied up in your property. This gives you a 12 week period to get the money from the house and use that to pay the fees back once your house is sold.
Equity release allows you to continue living in your home while you receive payments that can go towards your home care or living costs. Once your home is sold, you will need to repay any money that you have received.
Investment bonds can be used to help pay for your long term home care. Investment bonds are medium- to long-term investments that offer capital growth. If you do not need immediate access to the money, this type of investment is not guaranteed to produce a profit. If you are interested in paying for your home care costs by investment bonds, you should seek financial advice first.
You may wish to use the value of your property to fund home care. A sale-and-rent-back scheme offers you the chance to sell your home at a reduced cost. In return, you continue to live at the home as a rent paying tenant. This is set to a fixed length and can be used as a last resort to get access to money to fund your care.
There are a number of risks and disadvantages with Sale-and-rent-back schemes. So be sure to consider your options carefully before you agree to this.
Other Options for funding your long-term care
Once you are ready to pay for long term care at home you may fin it difficult to find the money required. There are a number of alternatives available if you require home care.
- You may have money invested in shares or savings. It may be time to cash these in to fund your home care.
- If you own your house, you can decide to rent it out to fund your living costs elsewhere.
- You may own a collection of valuable items or antiques that can be sold to fund your home care.
- If you have insurance policies taken out, you may find that these cover your care costs.
- Home sharing allows you to get help from a younger person who lives in your home in exchange for doing jobs around the home.
Funding your long term care is a big decision. When you have decided that you need help at home, you should consult a financial adviser to discuss your options. Advisers who are CF8 qualified are specially trained to advise on funding long term care.
A financial adviser can offer specific advice to your care needs and suggest the risks involved. They will also be able to advise you on setting up a power of attorney.
Local authority funding for home care
Home care may become necessary as you begin to find it more difficult to look after yourself at home. You may require home assistance if you are disabled, elderly or become ill. But it may not be obvious how much you will need to pay towards your care costs. When you consider care at home, you should find out if the local authority can help with the costs.
What care is provided by local authorities?
Help at home is a benefit to many people as it allows you to remain independent whilst still receiving the care that you need. Home care is usually the preferred option as it is less expensive and less disruptive than moving into residential care. If you choose care at home local authorities may help with the following:
- Care services
- Daily living equipment
- Modifications in the home
Some of these costs are covered by local authorities while others are provided if your income is below a certain threshold. In some instances you may need to partly pay towards your home care needs and the local authority will cover the rest.
NHS continuing healthcare funding
People who have a disability or complex medical problems may get NHS continuing healthcare (CHC). This can provide funding for care at home, in a hospice or in a care home. Funding can be provided as a direct payment which allows you to choose how you spend the money.
Eligible health needs might include:
- Mobility problems
- Terminal illnesses
- Long-term medical conditions
- Behavioural or cognitive disorders
- Rapidly deteriorating health
- Physical or mental disabilities
- Complex medical conditions that need additional care and support
Do I qualify for local authority funding for care costs?
Local authorities can provide funding towards the care costs of people who require help at home or care within a care home. To receive funding for care, you will need to have a care needs assessment. This will calculate if you are entitled to help towards your home care.
The assessment will take into account the savings and assets that you own. You will qualify for local authority funding if your savings and assets are below the following thresholds:
- England and Northern Ireland: £23,250
- Scotland: £26,500
- Wales: £24,000 for home care or £30,000 for residential care
Whatever your financial situation, you have the right to a care needs assessment. If you qualify for help with your home care or residential care needs then you will receive the care you need. The local authority has a legal duty to make the services available to you that you need.
You may also carry out a self assessment for yourself or someone else in need of care. If the local authority agrees with the self assessment, you will be entitled to the same funding as if you had completed a care needs assessment.