This guide to funding
options illustrates ways in which home care services are often financed
and would ultimately depend on the level of support required.
The cost of care could be less than you think, especially if only
requiring a little amount of help each week, and the costs can often be
met out of normal income, pensions and allowances. If you require more
comprehensive personal care services, which cannot be met by the local
authority, thought must be given as to how this funding is achieved.
Please refer to the allowances which might be claimed ᴠthe end of
For many people their main asset is usually the family home, and with
the receipt of pensions and benefits it is often the case that you can
continue in your own home receiving home care services instead of an
alternative residential care option. Because you wish to continue living
at home you may also have to consider alternative funding options, such
as equity release and annuity based schemes.
Many different financing schemes are available to fund your care and
nursing; each scheme needs to be tailored to your specific financial
circumstances and you should take proper independent advice.
Inheritance tax planning can reduce the overall cost of care and nursing
by 40% if your home and other assets are worth more than 000 (IHT
Nil rate band tax year 2009-2010).
For such individuals, the net cost of care & nursing is 60% of the total
fee; this is because the cost of the care service reduces the value of
the estate and related inheritance taxes accordingly.
Your children and future beneficiaries of your estate should be included
in any discussions and legal arrangements on care funding.
We are not qualified to give advice about which funding option might be
most suitable for your needs. You should seek independent financial
The Government and local authorities provide financial assistance,
advice and other forms of support to elderly, sick and disabled people
who need help with their personal care or nursing. Assistance may vary
between different areas of the UK.
Social Services Support and 'Direct Payments'
Your local Social Services can arrange and may pay for, or contribute
towards, the cost of your care but not any nursing you may need.
If you want them to pay for your care they will means-test you. They
will ask about your weekly income including pensions, earnings and
benefits and about your savings and investments. The value of your home
or car is not considered and they will generally ignore any savings or
investments you may have if they are less than about ⬲50 (the
figures vary from area to area).
East Sussex County Council's website says "If you have savings of over
㬰00 you will have to pay the full cost of the care you receive. This
charge begins from the date your care begins.
You may not have to pay anything if you have savings or capital below
⬲50 and have income (other than earnings from any work that you do)
of less than:
㱶2.50 a week if you are over 60
㱱4.75 a week if you are aged between 25 and 60, or
㹸.06 a week if you are aged between 18 and 24.
Once you have been assessed to have less than 㬰00 we may offer you
help towards your cost of home care".
The Council will then work out how much you may need to pay towards the
cost of providing you with care.
If you are entitled to local authority financial support, as an
alternative to actually providing you with care, councils are now
obliged (if you meet certain conditions) to offer you Direct Payments.
With this regular cash income you can opt to pay for private homecare
and related activities such as shopping services.
If you are a volunteer Carer (e.g. a relative or neighbour) you may also
be able to get Direct Payments.
You cannot use Direct Payments to pay for permanent places in
residential or nursing homes or to buy care from the council.
Social services can also suggest special equipment to make your life
easier, e.g., grab rails and bathroom aids.
Grants for adapting housing may be available from local Community
Occupational Therapists (details available through your GP).
For more information about getting help from the Social Services contact
the care managers via your local county council office or equivalent
NHS Continuing Care
Your every nursing and care need is entitled to be paid for 'in any
setting' - including in your own home - if, following a short clinical
assessment, your local health authority agrees your health needs meet
their criteria for funding.
The value of Continuing Care may exceed 찰0 per week. You do not
receive the cash, the NHS spends it on your behalf in accordance with
the needs and aims stated within a Care Needs Assessment.
The health authority (Primary Care Trusts in England, Health Boards in
Scotland and Wales) are obliged to take the wishes of the client into
account. If you want, for example, to have a live-in nurse provide you
with the care you need at home you should make this clear as early as
possible during the care needs review.
If your partner is your main Carer, he or she may need a break now and
then. Continuing Care funding may help to pay for professional respite
services, e.g. a visiting nurse for an afternoon or sometimes a live-in
nurse for a week.
Continuing Care funding criteria may vary from area to area, but to be
eligible you must usually suffer from a serious life-limiting or
There are several kinds of 'Continuing Care'. You may be eligible for
help under more than one. For example, your health authority and local
council may use different schemes to jointly co-ordinate and fund one
package of care that meets both your health and social care needs.
To find out more about Continuing Care phone NHS Direct (0845) 46 47.
Attendance Allowance is a tax free benefit for people over 65 who need
help with personal care such as getting in and out of bed, washing,
eating, medication or mobility, or because they can become confused and
need to be watched over. Attendance Allowance is not affected by savings
and is usually unaffected by any other income you may have.
Telephone your Local Benefits Office or (0845) 712 3456 ; see leaflets
DS702 and HB5 available from Jobcentres, Pension Centres and Social
Carer's Allowance is a taxable benefit for people such as friends and
family members who look after someone who gets Attendance Allowance or
Disability Living Allowance. Extra expenses can be claimed for paying a
third party to provide care while you are out.
Telephone your Local Benefits Office or (0800) 882200 ; See leaflets
DS700 available from Jobcentres, Pension Centres and Social Security
Disability Living Allowance
Disability Living Allowance is a tax-free benefit for children and
adults with a disability or illness who need help with getting around or
personal care and who claim before the age of 65.
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Phone your local Benefits Office or (0845) 712 3456 .
See leaflets DS704 (or DS706 for children) and HB5 available from
Jobcentres, Pension Centres and Social Security offices.
Independent Living Fund
The top-up fund that works in conjunction with Social Services. The
Independent Living Fund (ILF) pays grants to disabled people with high
support needs who wish to live independently. ILF disregards your
earnings and that of your partner so you can earn without losing any
Phone (0845) 601 8815 .
Senior Line (0808) 800 6565 .
A welfare advice line run by Help the Aged for older people and their
carers. Free, confidential and impartial advice about benefits and
Benefits Enquiry Line (0800) 882200 .
A confidential telephone service for people with disabilities, their
representatives and carers.
Benefits Website - DirectGov