There are many ways you can deal with the financial side of procuring professional care services. In the UK, nearly all healthcare needs are met by the NHS unless the patient concerned opts for private treatment, of course. However, this is not the case with wider care, something that professionals tend to refer to as social care or care in the community. Insofar as caring for adults is concerned, there are several funding streams available for people to access. The problem many people face if their adult child, their spouse or their parent requires care for the first time is, however, that they don’t know where to turn for such support.
Read on to find out about the most common ways you might be able to secure funding for the care of your loved one.
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Let’s start with the simplest way of funding the care of a loved one which is to pay for it yourself. If your family member owns their own home or has significant financial assets, then some of the funding options outlined below – but by no means all – won’t be open to them. Under such circumstances, it is quite normal to self-fund. Many high-quality care service providers work to provide in-home and nursing home care to people who are both funded by financial awards from the public purse and their own savings. In fact, people with care funding entitlements often top up their care plan from private finances, too. In short, the care sector is very adaptable to meet all financial circumstances.
Another way to cope with limited finances if there is only a small entitlement to care funding is to take on some of the care work yourself. This is not always easy and not everyone is cut out for it. Please note that, in some cases, you may be entitled to funding yourself if you are the main carer. This is usually through making a claim for carer’s allowance. Different rules apply whether you are of working age or past the state retirement age. Remember that you can also find funding for respite care if you need to take a break for a while.
Local Authority Assessments
If your loved one has savings and assets that are over £23,500 in England (different rules apply in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), then they won’t necessarily be entitled to funding. That said, you can still request a local authority care assessment and a means test that will take into account your loved one’s wider financial circumstances. If they receive an award for social care funding following their assessment, then it will be up to them how they spend it so long as it goes on care service provision. According to Anglian Care, a leading care service provider in Essex, many people could be receiving council funding for their care which they are not yet claiming. As such, seeking a formal assessment is worth it as your loved one’s care needs and your financial circumstances change – even if they’ve applied before.
This is a state benefit that your family member may be entitled to if they’ve reached retirement age. Attendance allowance is only applicable if the individual concerned is either registered as disabled or they suffer from a condition that requires care or supervision. Crucially, they must have had this status for at least six months before a successful claim for attendance allowance can be made. Note that this benefit cannot serve as a funding stream for your loved one if they already receive a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or claim Disability Living Allowance, however.
Personal Independence Payments
It is possible for any adult over 16 years of age to claim PIP. It is a state benefit that has two components, or funding streams. The first deals with daily living and will help to pay for things like getting dressed, washing and preparing food. The other is the so-called mobility element. This is to help pay for getting about, something that might be useful if your loved one needs assistance moving these days. Importantly, PIP is not just about the physical condition of your loved one but covers mental capacity to a degree, as well.
Finally, there are some charities that will also get involved with care finances. Most will be related to a certain condition, such as a cancer charitable foundation, for example. Others may be backed by a particular section of the community, such as a religious group, for example. In the main, awards tend to be for one-of-a-kind care needs, such as respite care or home adaptation, as opposed to meeting ongoing care needs, however.