Funding My Care
Arranging care for yourself, or a loved one, is stressful enough without the added financial strain that the cost of care can bring. The government have recently outlined new criteria for receiving state funding for home care, with an individual’s home now included in the means testing as well as a higher threshold for assets.
Currently, people who receive care at home (domiciliary care) are required to pay for their care if their savings total between £14,250 and £23,250, with a sliding scale of contributions depending on the level of those savings.
New Eligibility Criteria
With the new scheme, individuals will be assessed and if their combined assets are in excess of £100,000 (including their home) they will be required to fund their care. If people want to hold on to their home, they can defer payment. The state will deduct the cost from their estate when they die. Many councils already offer a deferred Payment Agreement (DPA) which allows people to secure care fees against their home once the property is sold, which can be on their death, or sooner, if they choose. The cost will include interest payments charged by the council.
Cap on Fees
It is proposed that a cap of £72,000 will be introduced. That means that no one will have to pay any more for their eligible care needs to be met once they have spent a total of £72,000. This cap will apply to the cost of care that people receive either in their own home or living in a care home. It does not include someone’s ‘hotel costs’ (i.e. bed and board) if they are living in a care home. These would still be charged separately even after reaching the cap, however, hotel costs will be capped as well at £12,000 per year. The cap was due to come into effect from April 2016 but the government has delayed this until April 2020.
Anyone in need of care at home should contact their local authority and request a care needs assessment and financial assessment from a social worker. Following this you will be notified of your eligibility for state funded care. If state funding care is available then the social worker will refer you to one of their contracted home care providers. If funding is not not available you will need to arrange care privately, with CQC a good resource to identify local quality providers.