Local authority care funding

The Care Act 2014 part one came into force from 1st April 2015, this is the legal framework for how the Local Authority identifies, meets and contributes towards the cost of care and support for adults in England.

Care and support needs of someone living with an illness or disability and those caring for them can be assessed by a Local Authority against a National criteria. You are entitled to an assessment even if you are likely to be paying the full cost of your care don’t have to be funded by the Council to benefit from their services and some are FREE and may support you to live at home independently.

The Local Authority doesn’t have to make a charge for care and support but they usually do. Some have an upper weekly limit to the amount someone has to pay for care at home but after assessing a care and support need they will work out how much you can afford to pay with a financial assessment.

The Local Authority won’t charge for;

  • Giving information or advice
  • Assessing your care and support needs, a carers assessment
  • Arranging community care services for you
  • Equipment and minor adaptations (up to £1000)
  • After care services provided under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983
  • Any Non- Residential Services required by individuals suffering from Creuzfeldt Jacob Disease
  • Re-ablement services (for up to 6 weeks) to help you stay independent

The Local Authority may charge for:

  • Personal and Domestic care, such as cleaning and laundry
  • Assisted shopping and meals
  • Rehabilitation services and respite care
  • Supported living and day care
  • Telecare (Assistive technology)
  • Live-in care, shared lives schemes
  • Transport
  • Direct Payment support/brokerage services

The Local Authority will take into account your income and savings (some disregards may apply) but not the value of your home while you, your spouse/partner or other family member over 60 or disabled are living in it (other disregards may apply). They may also ‘defer’ the cost of permanent care against the value of a property.

Savings and investments below £14,250 are not taken into account but if you have savings over £23,250 you will have to pay the full cost of your care and support. Apply a ‘tariff income’ of £1 for every £250 or part of for savings in between the upper and lower funding levels.

You won’t have to pay towards care at home if your income is below the National minimum income level plus 25% and wages from paid work do not count although money from company pensions will. For those moving into a care home half of a personal pension may be given to a spouse and a Personal Expense Allowance of £24.90 cannot be used for paying for care.

It is an individual care need that is being assessed and therefore their ability to contribute towards any cost. Jointly held capital will be halved

Once assessed with an eligible care need the cost to the Local Authority of providing that is a personal budget. The Council can arrange your care at home for you or you may want to do this yourself using your own care provider. If you wish to arrange your care you may receive this personal budget as a direct payment (if not self-funding with over £23’250)

  • Can I give away my money? Everyone has a right to choose how they spend their money BUT if you give away your assets to avoid paying for care it may be considered as deliberate deprivation and a ‘Notional Income/Capital applied.
  • Can my Son move in to my house if I go into care? Whether the Local Authority disregard its value in an assessment will depend on his age health and whether he was already living in it before you moved into care.
  • Can I move into the care home with my wife? The Local Authority does not have to pay towards care that it has not assessed as an eligible need.

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