Local authority funding for care at home

Are you at the point in your life when you feel like you need care at home? If you are thinking about hiring care at home but you are unsure whether or not you can afford quality care at home, you may qualify for local authority funding. Read more about local authority funding for care at home in our article below.

How can you qualify for local authority funding for care at home?

If you need support in your daily life at home, but you’re unsure how you will be able to pay it, you may qualify for local authority funding. Local authority funding will be able to cover the cost of a carer coming into your home to look after you, help with meals or housekeeping, just to name a few. The amount that you can receive from local authority funding for care at home will depend on your needs and how much you are able to pay.

Besides providing funding for your care at home needs, your local authority provides services such as meals, transport, personal equipment or home alterations. Some of the services provided through local authority funding can be free, while some cannot be covered. This depends on whether your income and savings are low.

If you do not fully qualify for local authority funding for care at home, you will need to pay a part of the costs or the full amount for care at home services. On the other hand, if you suffer from a medical condition or you have a disability, you may receive NHS funding.

To find out if and how you can qualify for local authority funding for care at home you need to contact your local department. Before doing that, it’s worth knowing that if your savings and assets are above £23,250 in England, you will need to fund your own care. In Wales, the threshold for local authority funding for care at home is £24,000, in Scotland £27,250 and Northern Ireland £23,250, same as in England.

It is important to note that while your savings and assets may go above this threshold, you should still contact your local authority for funding for care at home. This is because you have the right to care needs assessment or local authority funding assessment.

What is a local authority funding assessment?

As stated above, each person has the right to a local authority funding assessment or care needs assessment, no matter if your income goes above the threshold. The local authority funding assessment is free to anyone. No matter your needs, you are entitled to a local authority funding assessment.

Your local council will identify what your needs are. The aim of the assessment is to identify everything you may need help with, whether in terms of care or special assistance, housekeeping needs or anything else. The goal is for you to live life in your home as independently as possible with the added support of a carer.

The local authority funding assessment will be carried out by a specialist from your local authority or from the NHS. This person can be a nurse, an occupational therapist or a social worker, for example. Together you will establish if and how you carry out your daily tasks such as personal care, mobility and managing your safety and wellbeing in your home.

They will then check your needs against a national set of criteria. If they establish that you do qualify for local authority funding for care at home they will be able to either provide you with the care services you need or help you arrange care at home for yourself.

After this has been established, your local authority will proceed to carry out a financial assessment or a means test, through which you will find out if and how much you will need to pay towards your care at home services.

What is a means test?

After you have passed your local authority funding assessment for care at home or care needs assessment, you will need to go through a means test which will determine what type of support you need next and subsequently, how your care at how will be paid for.

A means test, also known as a financial assessment will look at your regular income, which can be pensions benefits or other earnings as well as your capital, which means savings, investments, properties or any assets. If your total income goes beyond a certain amount then you will have to pay for your care at home services from your own pocket, without any local authority funding support. Depending on how much income you have, you may have to pay part of your care at home, whilst receiving another part as local authority funding.

It’s important to note that when a means test for local authority funding is carried out, they will not take into account your home. This may change if you decide to move into a care home. Once your local authority has completed the means test they will determine how much you will have to pay for your care at home and how much of your income you will keep for yourself, as well as the local authority funding amount.

Since local authority funding assessments or care needs assessments are free and available to anyone, you should not pass the chance to get one. Even if at the moment you may think that your care needs are manageable, your situation may change and it’s worthwhile knowing if you qualify for local authority funding nonetheless. More than this, you will get the chance to discuss your options and have a better understanding of the care at home services at hand.

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