Help towards funding your care and accommodation costs may be available, depending on whether you are eligible for assistance.
Types of support
Several types of support are available, from local Councils, Health Trusts and Boards, as well as family:
- Means-tested support by the council is the most common form of support
- The NHS covers costs for those who need continuing care while recovering from NHS treatment – for up to six weeks’ stay
- Friends or families may be able to cover any shortfall in costs.
Needs and financial assessment
When you apply for funding from your local council their social services department will carry out an assessment (or ‘means test’) to determine what type of support you need, and the level of financial assistance they can provide. For many people, the local Council will contribute to all costs of living in a care home; there are three levels of support available, depending on your financial situation:
- Those with assets of over £23,250 will be expected to cover the standard costs of their chosen care home until their assets fall below £23,250.
- Those with assets of between £14,250 – £23,250 will need to contribute towards the cost of their care, from any assets they own over £14,250 and any income, such as their pension.
- Those with assets of less than £14,250 do not have to make a contribution from their assets, but will need to contribute from any income they may have.
However, if you fall into the top bracket – with assets of over £23,250 – you may still be eligible for assistance. There are a number of sources of funding available from local Councils, Health Trusts and Boards.
It is important not to over-estimate assets, and some factors will effectively lower the amount on which the council will base their assessment. For example, if your spouse will continue to live in your house then his or her share of it will not form part of your assets for the purposes of council assessment; and if you decide you do need to sell your property, you could benefit from a 12-week property deferral, giving you time to consider when and how best to sell it.
And of course, you may seek support from your family to cover costs if your care home fees are above the rate offered by the Council.
You can find more information about the means test and the other forms of support that may be available to you, from First Stop Care Advice, Telephone: 0800 377 70 70 FREE or visit:www.firststopcareadvice.org.uk.