At Mountbatton Care, we appreciate how vital it is to have the right level of care and support that you require, we will give you:
- Guidance about the care and support you need
- Information about the services obtainable
- Information about funding the costs of your home care/support
Numerous people pay for their home care/support using their own private monies or with help from their family. Nonetheless, this is not a choice that suits everyone. You may be entitled to financial help towards the cost of your home care/support. Who is responsible for payment and how much will depend the type and amount of home care/support you require and in some circumstances, the amount of money you have.
If you have a long term health condition that requires significant continuing health care at home, then you may be eligible to have your home care costs paid for by the NHS.
You must be over 18 years of age and have a principal health need. This means your main need for home care/support must be due to your health. If you are considered as needing continuing healthcare then, as with other NHS services, the care you receive will be free. Dissimilar to social care it will not be dependent on your ability to pay.
In practice it is difficult to judge whether a person’s need for home car/support is because they have a primary health care need. For example, many people with dementia are not eligible.
The first phase is to ask for an assessment by a health professional or social worker. They will assess you by using a short screening tool to see if you may qualify for NHS continuing healthcare. If this suggests you may be eligible, they will refer you for a full assessment using a decision support tool.
You and your family will be entirely involved in this assessment together with other professionals related to your health care/support. You will be able to see a copy of the decision and the assessment questions that you will discuss together. You will receive a letter endorsing the judgement.
If you have health insurance check to see if this covers you for home care/support.
Ask your local adult social services department of your local authority for an assessment to see what practical support they may be able to offer. UK law entitles adults in need of care and support to an assessment.
A member of Mountbatton staff (often a registered manager) will talk to you about your health, the home care you need, what support you presently have and the things that are significant to you about how you live your life.
If you are an unpaid carer providing significant care for someone, social services will look at your needs as well as the person you provide care for. You should be able to have a separate carer’s assessment in the following situations:
- Where you are providing regular and substantial care to someone
- When the person you are looking after is someone who may be entitled to community care services
- As part of the process of assessment when the person you are looking after is being discharged from hospital
- When you are looking after someone with mental health problems who is on the Care Programme Approach (CPA)
- As a parent carer of a disabled child under 18, if the assessment of the child does not fully take account of your needs
The above assessments will be used to ascertain your care/support needs. You may choose to use this information to find out more about the services available and then independently make your own arrangements.
Otherwise, the local authority will use the care assessment to measure whether you meet their criteria for help with home care/support services. This is called the ‘eligibility’ criteria. If you meet the eligibility criteria, the local authority will then carry out a further assessment of your finances to understand whether you will be charged for the home care and support and if so, how much.
Types of support that the local authority may be able to provide include practical help and personal care from care agencies such as Mountbatton Care, mobility aids to help the person be more independent, or respite care to give you a break.
If you are entitled to care and support funded by the local authority, you may receive a direct payment or a personal budget. The advantage of these types of payments is that you have more choice and control over the services you use.
Direct payments are cash payments to cover the cost of services that you have been assessed as needing. You can use these to directly employ your own personal assistant or to buy services from a registered care provider such as Mountbatton Care.
Personal budgets refer to an allocated amount which you can either take as a direct payment or ask the council to buy home care services on your behalf.
Financial Assessment for Care
Under the NHS and Community Care Act 1990, section 47, the Social Services department of your Local Authority (LA) has a statutory duty to assess your financial situation regarding the payment of care services. The financial assessment will either be offered to you or you can request one directly.
A major part of the financial assessment involves your local authority reviewing your income and capital to decide how much you may have to pay for care. If you live in England the important threshold is £23,250. If you have this amount (or higher) of capital you will be assessed as being able to meet the full cost of your care.
If you have capital of £14,250 or under then your capital will be ignored in calculating how much you will have to contribute to the cost of care. If the amount of capital is between £14,250 and £23,250 then the level of contribution to your care costs is determined by allocating an income value of £1 for every £250 of capital.
Whatever the assessment based on your capital the local authority will then review your ability to pay based on the assessment of your income. It is vital that before the financial assessment is carried out that you are claiming all benefits for which you may be entitled to. This is extremely important, as the means test assumes your overall income based on what benefits you should also be in receipt of.
If you are receiving or will be receiving care in your own home, the value of your home is not counted within the means test.
In calculating your financial situation/wealth any assets jointly held, only the proportion you are deemed to own is taken into account. E.g. a couple have £30,000 in savings all in joint names, £15,000 would be deemed each person’s capital.
Pension Credit provides a guaranteed minimum level of income (Guarantee Credit) by topping up your weekly income if it is below the threshold (£137.35 if you are single, £209.70 if you have a partner). These amounts may increase further depending on individual circumstances. For example, if you are disabled then any addition will be assessed at the time of application. Those aged 65 or over may also qualify for Savings Credit, you may receive this on its own or along with the Guarantee Credit. You may be entitled to savings credit if you or your partner are aged 65 or over and have made some provision for your retirement for example savings/investments or a second pension. The level of benefit for savings credit can be up to:
- £20.52 per week if you are single, or
- £27.09 per week if you have a partner
You could potentially get Savings Credit if the money you have coming in is up to about: £188 per week if you are single, or £27 Council Tax Benefit
If you qualify for the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit then you would normally qualify to have your council tax paid in full. If you are not receiving the Guarantee Credit element and have savings in excess of £16,000 then you will not be eligible for Council Tax Benefit. The assessment to establish whether you qualify for support with your Council Tax if your savings are below £16,000 is based on your level of income and the amount of Council Tax that you pay