When you’re looking to arrange care, understanding how it will be paid for is likely to be one of your key concerns.
You may be entitled to funding from your council’s social services department, which can pay for some or all of your care, or give you direct payments to spend on your own care. If you need to meet care costs yourself, there are several options that can help you to do so.
Social services funded care
The law requires your local authority to assess your care needs. If it agrees that you need care, it will assess your finances to see how much care it can fund for you and whether you’ll need to contribute. A Personal Budget from your local authority allocates you an amount of money that you can use to pay for care yourself. This gives you more control over your care but can also mean you have more responsibilities.
Funding your own care
Self-funding gives you control over the type of care you receive and who provides it. There are numerous ways you can fund your care, ranging from buying a care annuity to gifting your house to a voluntary organisation.
You can ask your local authority to assess your eligibility to receive a Personal Budget. This gives you more control over your care and how you receive it.
If you opt for a Personal Budget, your council will assess your care needs and how much it is able to pay towards them. It will then allocate you a budget to spend on suitable care services and allow you to choose how to spend it, so the care you receive best suits your situation and needs. Depending on your circumstances, you may be asked to contribute towards the cost of your care.
Your Personal Budget Options
When you receive your Personal Budget, you’ll have a number of choices for how you use it.
Managed Council Budgets
This allows you to ask the council to commission your care for you. Your council may already have a contract with a company to provide these care services. However, some local authorities allow you to choose from a range of providers, while others allow you to request any provider, with the council then managing the relationship with the provider you want.
Individual Service Funds
This is a more flexible type of managed budget. Your care provider will contract with the council for your care, and may also be able to buy other services you might need. Your care provider is responsible to you for using your budget appropriately and making sure it’s spent only on your assessed needs.
With a direct payment, you can receive money directly into your bank account. This allows you to employ your own carer or buy your care services from an agency or care provider.
If you want, you can have your direct payment administered by someone else, such as a community organisation or you can have your direct payment paid to a friend, a family member or a trust set up to manage your budget.