Everyone who needs long-term social care is entitled have the care paid for by their local authority. This applies whether the care is provided in a residential care home or by a live-in personal assistant at the person’s own home.
Social care means helping people with day-to-day activities such as feeding, washing, dressing, mobility, using the bathroom and so on. It also includes helping them maintain independence, social interaction and protecting them from vulnerable situations.
However, it’s important to remember that local authority funding for social care is means tested. As a result, the local authority may pay for all of your social care or only part of it. If your financial assets are above a certain level, you may not qualify for any local authority funding at all.
Do I qualify for local authority funding?
To decide whether you are eligible for funding, the local authority will assess the value of your financial assets. Typically, this means your earnings, pension, savings and investments.
The means test also covers property ownership, though your home will not be included in the assessment if you live with:
The assessment will not look at the value of your possessions or any life insurance policies.
If your financial assets are worth less than £14,250, you will receive the highest level of funding from your local authority. The exact amount will depend on your needs. You may still be required to pay a small proportion of your income to cover your care needs.
If your financial assets are worth between £14,250 and £23,350 you will receive part-funding. The local authority will pay something towards the cost of your care and you will be expected to make up the remainder yourself.
If your financial assets are worth more than £23,350, you will not be eligible for local authority funding for your care and will have to self-fund.
How to apply for local authority funding
The first step in applying for care funding is to contact your local authority and ask for a care assessment. Our staff at Vitality live-in care can help you do this.
The care assessment can take place over the phone or in-person. Someone from your local authority such as a social worker or occupational therapist will ask you how you’re managing everyday tasks like washing, dressing and cooking. They might ask you to describe how well you do certain things like making a cup of tea and getting out of a chair.
If the local authority decides that you need social care, it will contact you to carry out the means test and take a closer look at your financial assets.
For more information and advice on applying for local authority funding, contact an adviser at Vitality live-in care.
How the local authority pays for your care
If the local authority decides you are eligible for care funding, you will be given a care support plan, which sets out the type of support you need, how the support will be given and how much money the local authority will spend on your care.
You can decide to receive your funding as direct payments into your bank account. This allows you to use the money to pay the care provider of your choice. Compared with a residential care, live-in care can be a cost-effective way of receiving high-quality care – and, of course, you get to stay in your own home. Many of Vitality live-in care’s customers use their direct payments to help fund the live-in care we provide.
To find out more about options for live-in care, call one of our advisers.