Arguably the biggest concern facing those living with dementia and their loved ones is being able to finance the necessary level of care once it is required. Physically, mentally and emotionally, dementia is a challenging condition that affects more than the individual alone, so being able to rely upon the support and expertise of professionals is of the utmost importance. But doing so comes at a cost, and understanding exactly how you can fund the required support is essential.
For many people, the prospect of having to pay for care – either in your own home or residential care – may seem prohibitively expensive. However, there are sources of funding that will be able to help either cover or supplement fees, with local authority funding being the first port of call when it comes to assessing options.
The Care Act 2014
The Care Act 2014 is a piece of government legislation designed to carefully detail the criteria for eligibility of local authority funding. This act details the assessment process and was introduced to improve the law relating to the care and support for adults. Central to the Care Act 2014 are six core principles: Empowerment, Protection, Prevention, Proportionality, Partnership, and Accountability. Through these key tenets, each individual is afforded a personal approach to their care, while the national minimum threshold enables everyone to benefit from publicly funded care and support if required.
With the introduction of the Care Act 2014, funding for your care will be provided once it’s determined that you have ‘eligible’ needs and are a resident in the local authority. An assessment of your care needs will be conducted by either a fully trained assessor such as a Social Worker or Occupational Therapist, and will identify whether a physical or mental condition will significantly impact your day-to-day wellbeing.
Following a care assessment is a financial assessment – or means test. Quite simply, this will determine who will be funding the care you require. This assessment will be conducted face-to-face and will take into consideration your income and outgoings, as well as any assets you currently have – including any property in your name, savings, and any other assets. However, when seeking funding for care in your home, your residential property will not be included in the assessment – unlike those looking at moving into a care home.
The ‘magic number’
In order for your local authority to pay for your care, the financial assessment needs to determine that your capital and income are below £23,250 – a figure known as the upper capital limit. If you exceed this amount, you will be required to fund the home care you require privately.
A lower capital limit of £14,250 is also present, and will impact the funding available. If your figure falls between the two, your local authority will expect you to pay £1 per week for every £250 you have between the limits – a value called the tariff income. For those with assets below £14,250, you’ll be expected to pay what you can afford from any income above £189 per week.
How much will I receive?
Calculating the anticipated funding you’ll receive is complicated. You will be advised following the assessment process of how much you will be afforded for your care – known as the personal budget. This budget can be paid directly into your account, to a nominated party, or even paid to the care service provider on your behalf.
To learn more about local authority funding for home care, speak to a member of the team at Avante Care & Support today.