In the first mini blog in the series of FAQs about Later Life Planning, Kate Norris explains how to apply for care at home.
If you find you are having trouble coping at home with everyday tasks it may be worth asking the local authority to carry out a needs assessment. This is a free service whether or not you will be funded by the local authority.
A needs assessment will assist you to find out what your options are with regard to additional care and/or equipment at home which will help you to remain as independent for as long as possible and stay at home. You may wish to discuss this with your GP who can make a referral on your behalf.
After the needs assessment has been carried out, if eligible needs are identified for care and support a care plan will be prepared for you and a financial assessment carried out. This assessment will include all of your income and savings although the value of your home will be disregarded if you are to remain there.
The means test for local authority funding is
- Capital over £23,250 – you are classed as a self funder and pay for all your care
- Capital between £14,250 and £23,250 – the local authority will fund some of your care and you contribute the rest.
- Less than £14,250 – any assets you hold under £14,250 will be ignored and not included in any means test. The local authority will pay for your care but will take into account any eligible income.
Certain benefits are not classed as eligible income and taken into account for example disability benefits. This is the same for certain types of capital which is also disregarded for example life assurance investment bonds.
If all of your income is eligible for the means test then the local authority must ensure you are left with £189 each week, if single and above the pension credit qualifying age, this is known as the minimum income guarantee.
If you are a self-funder and pay all of your care needs the local authority should provide you with help and advice if requested.
If you have any questions about benefits that you may be eligible for or would like help applying for care, please contact our Later Life Support Team on 01225 750000.