Your straightforward guide to funding live in care
We understand that your priority when arranging live-in care is to find the very best care for your loved one, but once you have done that you have to determine how it will be paid for. Our guide explains the alternatives for funding live in care and how to work out what you are eligible for. Funding may be available from the local authority or the NHS and there is also a range of benefits that your loved one may be entitled to.
How is live in care paid for?
There are three ways that live in care can be paid for:
- Local authority funding
- NHS funding
Local authority funding
With local authority funding, the local council funds some or all of the care required.
The local authority will carry out a free needs assessment to establish the level of care required. If your loved one is assessed as having ‘eligible needs’ the council will then carry out a financial assessment. This will establish whether the care will be paid for by the local council, or if you should contribute to the cost of care, or if you will have to self-fund care.
There are thresholds for savings and assets, above which you will need to pay for your own care.
- The upper limit for 2020-21 in England is £23,250.
- If your capital is between £14,250 and £23,250 the local council will fund some of your care but you will need to contribute to the costs.
If you qualify for local authority funding for care at home, you should be offered a personal budget. This will enable you to make your own care arrangements.
In some specific circumstances, the NHS will pay for the cost of care. There are two types of funding available: NHS Intermediate Care and NHS Continuing Healthcare.
NHS Intermediate Care
The NHS will pay for up to six weeks of support for a patient after a short illness or hospital stay.
NHS Continuing Healthcare
The NHS will fund care for people who need ongoing health care outside of the hospital. This funding is only available for medical care needs due to a disability, accident or major illness. NHS Continuing Healthcare is not means-tested so if you meet the medical criteria you will be eligible.
If you are not eligible for NHS funding or local authority funding, your loved one, or their family, will need to pay for their own care.
You will have to pay for care if:
- You have savings and assets in excess of the capital limits (excluding the value of your home)
- Your income is high enough to meet the cost of care without taking you below the minimum income threshold.
It is still worth getting a needs assessment even if you don’t think you will qualify for financial help. This assessment will provide formal recognition of your loved one’s needs which can be useful for a variety of reasons. You can also ask the local authority to arrange the care if you choose.
If you are funding your own live in care, bear in mind that if your savings and assets fall below the threshold for state funding, the local authority then has a duty to contribute to the cost of your care. You should contact your local authority who will carry out a reassessment of needs as well as a financial assessment.
Benefits you may be able to claim
If you are self-funding you should also check that you, or your loved one, are claiming all the benefits they are entitled to such as:
- Attendance Allowance (not means-tested)
- Carers Allowance
- Pension credit
- Council Tax reduction
- Winter Fuel Payment (not means-tested)
- Cold Weather Payment
Live in-home care often costs the same or less than a care home
There is no reason why live in care cannot be funded in the same ways as residential care. In addition, while in some circumstances you may have to sell your home if you move into a care home, you will not have to sell your home if you choose live in care.
If you need additional advice on funding live in care, contact a specialist accredited later life adviser. Look for a member of the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA).
Mumby’s are here to help
Mumby’s expert and friendly team can help you with planning live-in home care for your loved one. We are just a phone call away if you have any questions about how live-in care works, the costs of live-in care and how to fund it.
Please contact us, speak to one of our knowledgeable and helpful advisors on freephone 0800 505 3511 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.