The HC-One Guide to Funding looks at the help available towards your care and accommodation costs, whether you or your loved one are eligible for assistance and how to access it.
Types of support
The support available will vary depending on whether you are living in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
There are several types of support available, from local Councils, Health Trusts and Boards, as well as third parties:
- Means Tested Support is the most common form of support
- Via the NHS for those who require;
- Continuing of care while recovering from NHS treatment - in this case all costs are covered for up to six weeks
- Provision of care from a registered nurse
- Third Party Support from friends or families to meet shortfall in costs
Needs and financial assessment
An assessment will be carried out by your local Council’s social services department who will assess your care needs to determine what type of support you require and therefore the level of assistance available.
They will carry out a financial assessment also known as a means test to work out how much financial assistance you are entitled to towards your care and accommodation costs.
For many people the local Council will contribute to all costs of living in a care home.
The level of support varies throughout the UK; however there are three levels of support available:
- Those with assets of over £23,250 will be expected to cover the standard costs of their chosen care home until such a point that these assets drop to below £23,250 (NB: This figure applies to England, Wales and Northern Ireland; in Scotland the threshold is £24,750).
- Those with assets of between £14,250 - £23,250 are expected to make some contribution from both the assets and any income such as pension (except in Wales).
- Those with assets of less than £14,250 (or £23,250 in Wales) do not have to make a contribution from assets, but will need to contribute from any income you may have.
- [Figures correct as of 2013-2014]
However, if you fall within 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. People can also over estimate their assets, as there are a number of caveats such as; are you selling your property, does your spouse still live in your house or indeed would you benefit from a 12-week property deferral?
There is also the option of seeking third party support to meet the gap between the cost of your chosen care home and the support that is available from your local Council.
This could be a relative or other third party and could be used to cover costs where your chosen home is more expensive than the standard rate offered by the local Council.
You can find more information about these measures and the means test via the First Stop Care Advice, Tel: 0800 377 70 70 or visit: www.firststopcareadvice.org.uk
There are additional forms of support available to those who need it. For example, if you have been assessed as having needs that should be met with Nursing care then your Nursing costs will be paid for by the NHS. This is known as NHS Funded Nursing care.
The Nursing care contribution is paid directly to the care home. If you receive funding from your local Council the Nursing care contribution will be deducted from the amount the Council contributes and will not reduce your assessed financial contribution or any third party top up.
If you are paying for your own care, the Nursing care contribution is deducted from the full cost of the care home fee.
There are various organisations on hand to offer independent advice such as;
- Your local Council
- Age UK Tel: 0800 169 65 65 or visit: www.ageuk.org.uk
- The Elderly Accommodation Counsel Tel: 020 7820 1343 or visit: www.housingcare.org
- The Relatives and Residents Association Tel: 020 7359 8136 or visit www.relres.org
The types and levels of support available will vary depending on whether you are living in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. To find out exactly what support is available across the UK and for more in-depth information, contact Age UK, Tel: 0800 169 65 65 or visit www.ageuk.org.uk
If you have any further questions please contact HC-One on 0808 100 0212