Written by Active Minds on Thursday the 10th of September 2015.
Creating a care budget and applying for support may seem complicated at first but there’s plenty of help available to ensure you get the assistance that you’re entitled to. We’ve put together a short guide explaining the process of applying for financial support to cover care, support, and housing costs.
In the UK, financial support for care homes and support workers is allocated using a means-based system of social care. This means that you will be asked to pay for the majority of your own care if you can afford it. Your local authority may also provide a contribution depending on your financial situation. The first step in applying for financial support is to contact the adult social services department at your local authority. They will then organise a needs assessment to evaluate what level of support you may be eligible for.
During a care or needs assessment, an occupational therapist, social worker, or nurse will speak to you about any physical difficulties that you may be experiencing. If you are already receiving help from a family member or carer, it’s a great opportunity for them to voice any concerns they may have about their, or your future needs. By conducting an assessment, the local authority can anticipate what levels of care you may need in the future and if any adjustments may need to be made to your home.
Following a needs assessment, your local authority will conduct a financial assessment to evaluate what support you may be entitled to. The assessment will vary for those wishing to remain at home, and people who choose to move into a care home. You might need a hand filling out any forms so it’s a good idea to have a relative or friend who can help. Following the financial assessment the local authority will provide you with a written statement showing how they have calculated the amount that you will receive. If this isn’t clear, make sure you contact the council as soon as possible.
There are a couple of circumstances in which a full financial assessment may not be necessary. For example:
If you are eligible for a light touch financial assessment, the local authority still has the right to request a full financial assessment if there is a dispute about any charges. You can also request a full financial assessment if you prefer.
The local authority cannot charge you for some types of care such as:
You can also ask for support from charities such as Age UK, the Alzheimer’s Society, and Dementia UK.
Once your financial assessment is complete you will have to agree on a personal budget with the local authority. You can either choose to have the money transferred directly in monthly payments, or you can ask the local authority or a care agency to take care of the budget on your behalf (this is known as self-directed support).
Your financial situation may change over the years so it’s important to get in touch with social services if you feel that you may be entitled to more support. If you need any more advice on funding you can contact Age UK, Citizens Advice Bureau, Independent Age, or the Care Quality Commission. You can also find more information on the Alzheimer’s Society Website.