Local authority care funding - Relative Matters Ltd, Worthing, West Sussex

Heads of older couple and consultant

A Local Authority can assess the care and support needs of someone living with an illness or disability and those caring for them against National criteria. You are entitled to an assessment even if you are likely to be paying the full cost of your care. You 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 charges for care and support on a sliding scale. Some have an upper weekly limit to the amount someone has to pay for care at home, but after assessing care and support need, they will work out how much you can afford to pay by carrying out 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)
  • Aftercare 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 usually charges 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 another family member over 60 or who are disabled and 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. The Council will 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%. 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. A Personal Expense Allowance of £24.90 is payable and cannot be used for paying for care, if the Local Authority is funding care home fees.

It is a care need that is being assessed and therefore the individual’s ability to contribute towards any cost. Jointly held capital will be halved.

Once assessed for financial and an eligible care need 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 a personal budget as a direct payment (if not self-funding with over £23,250).

Questions you may ask

Am I able to give my money away?

Everyone has a right to choose how he or she spends 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 into my house if I go into care?

Whether the Local Authority disregards 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.

“Relative Matters were excellent in finding the right care home according to the specification we had set out. They also helped us with ensuring the NHS both assessed mum properly and complied with relevant legislation. I would heartily recommend Relative Matters.”