Self Funding Care
Help self funders understand their self funding care options; understand care funding jargon and help to guide your self funding care actions.
Approximately 5.5 billion pounds of benefits goes unclaimed by older people each year.
If you find you need to self fund, or if you have a low retirement income, claiming the benefits you are entitled to could make the world of difference to your circumstances.
This is a tax free, income related benefit and comes in 2 parts:
- Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level of £148.35 (for single people) or £226.50 (for couples).
- Savings Credit is an extra payment if you’ve got some savings or your income is higher than the basic State Pension.
You may be eligible for either one or both. Due to the recent changes in legislation, if you reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016, you may not be eligible for Savings Credit.
Even if you are only entitled to a very small amount of Pension Credit, it is worth taking as having this benefit will open the door to other benefits such as Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction.
If you, or someone you care for, find that it is necessary to move into a home on either a temporary or permanent basis, it is imperative that you find the right home to suit your needs. Of course it is important that the home provides a good standard of care but you also need to consider a whole other range of issues such as your day to day living, the location of the home and if it is in easy distance to friends and relatives.
If you require care, it is your right to receive a professional assessment of your needs by your local adult social services department. As part of the assessment process, they will calculate how much you have to pay.
If you have assets and property in excess of £23,250, you will typically have to pay all your care costs as a ‘self funder’.
Councils across England have raised concerns about the government’s plan to “cap the amount of money people in England spend on their social care” (BBC News).
The planned reforms that are set to affect how our social care system for adults works, aim to cap how much certain people pay towards their care (whether in their own home, a Care Home or a Nursing Home). The cap is intended to be £72,000 at which point individuals would be able to apply for assistance from their local council to help fund their care.
The reforms have already been controversial, as there has been concerns raised as to what is actually included towards that overall cap. However, nine out of every 10 councils that were asked (152 England-based councils, in total) are worried that a lack of funding will throw the scheme into chaos, with questions raised as to who will cover the costs.
There are presently 6.5 million careers in the UK today, this means that 1 in every 8 adults have became carers.
Carers save the state £119 billion a year by doing so, states CarersUK.
Richard Cross (ambassador for carersUK) reported recently that -
If you were suddenly to become a carer for a family member, would you know where to turn for help and advice?
Chances are, you have no idea, if you were to suddenly have to give up your job to care for a loved one, would you know where to get information from about what help is out there. This is just one of a long list of serious issues for most carers.
Some people have have been a carer for many years and still have no clue as to where to turn for the relevant information, CarersUK was set up for this very reason
See the original Guardian Article or visit CarersUK
The number of relatives that take on informal care for older people is set to be overtaken by the amount of people who need the care, by 2030.
Age UK report that thousands could be left to fend for themselves: The widening gap comes at a time when care costs have risen. People are now typically spending £36,000 a year for a nursing home and an annual average of £25,000 for care at home.
Age UK’s charity director Caroline Abrahams said ‘while the community institution approach would be welcome, it would only be appropriate for people in need of modest levels of care and support’.
‘The approach would not be suitable for people with long-term conditions, who need reliable and consistent social care’.
Choosing a care home, and understanding your funding options are just two of the dilemmas that face a lot of people who are looking to move a loved one into a care home. But the problem that many face is knowing where to go to get care home advice that is impartial and helpful.
There are actually several routes you could go down to find advice:
1. The Internet
The Internet is a huge pool of knowledge, and it can be a great place to find care home advice from councils, charities, support groups etc. But, one of the most useful aspects of sourcing the internet, is that you can find a great deal of information from people with actual experience. They aren’t people who want your money, or have something to gain from you listening to them. Instead, they are people who want to share their personal experiences – not just the good, but also the bad too.
However, it is important to remember that not everyone has your best interests at heart, so you should always be wary of websites that are only looking to make money out of you.
If your local Trust tells you that your parent will need to self fund their care, there are still plenty of care options that they may be entitled to.
The first thing you should do is check to see if there are any state benefits that your Mum or Dad may be entitled to. Millions of pounds of benefits go unclaimed because people do not know that they are entitled to them, so make sure that they are not missing out on anything.
Some benefits that they may qualify for include: Read More