In order for you to claim any assistance towards care costs, the local authority will need to undertake a care needs assessment and then undertake a financial assessment of your means.
However, if you are in need of care, we would strongly recommend that you have an assessment to see if you are entitled to NHS Continuing Healthcare support.
This also assesses your healthcare needs and helps establish whether the NHS is responsible for funding your care. You can visit our section on NHS Continuing Healthcare here.
Helping to set care home priorities.. Working with our carers to understand what is important when choosing a residential care home. A care needs assessment
A care needs assessment is a way of the local authority helping to work out what your care needs are so that they can work out the best way to help you.
A care needs assessment is designed to ensure that you have an active role in explaining what support you need. For example, you may have a desire to stay in your own home, but you just want some extra support to help do this.
The assessment will be undertaken by a specialist. They will work with you to see how you cope with day to day activities, such as dressing, cooking and washing. This is known as identifying your ‘care outcomes’.
It is important that you are open and honest with the assessor, so if you do have someone that helps you with your daily activities, please do tell them. The assessor needs to know how many ‘care outcomes’ you need help with, as this in turn helps identify whether you are eligible for support.
Following the care needs assessment, your local authority will let you know what services either it can provide or can arrange for you. All local authorities have to use a set of nationally agreed criteria when assessing what care you are entitled too.
You will be entitled to support if you meet all of the following criteria:
Once the results of your assessment are known, your local authority has a legal duty to meet your requirements. Once the assessments have been completed, you will be given your own written personal care plan. This will set out the support that will be provided, and can include such areas as:
Your local authority will provide some support for free. However, there are some services that you may need to pay for depending on the value of your income or savings.
You may also qualify for NHS funding if you have a disability or a complex medical condition, as this means you have healthcare needs rather than social care needs.
Your local authority will look at the value of your savings and assets. If you have more than £23,250 then your local authority will not contribute.
If your local authority agrees to fund part or all of your care costs, direct payments or a personal budget are paid to you by your local authority and you choose how you want to meet your care needs. Usually, this is what you will pay to any agency providing care at home.
For many people, if they find that they have to pay for their care, then equity release as an option that many are looking at. Basically, equity release allows you to access money from your home, tax-free!
You can then use this money to pay for your care or to even just use it to help you enjoy your later years.
Try our calculator below to see how much you could get.
If the assessment says that you need to fund your own care, it is really important that you think about the funding options available to you and take specialist advice to ensure you receive all the benefits you are entitled too.
In addition, a specialist advisor will be able to help you get value for money if you need to buy a care fees product.
This article was written by Rose Walters a published writer that has written on a range of care related topics. Rose writes from a lot of personal experience and is able to bring this in to the writing alongside the specialist knowledge she has on these topics.
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