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HOW TO APPLY FOR LOCAL AUTHORITY CARE HOME FUNDING

September 11th 2018

So you have an idea your relative or loved one might be eligible for local authority funding for a care home, or perhaps you just want to get the ball rolling to see if it is something you can consider.

Select Healthcare has compiled this handy step-by-step guide on everything you need to do to begin applying for council assistance with paying care home fees.

It is also beneficial to note that although we are talking specifically about care home funding in the UK, you can apply for local authority funding for care in your own home, as well as help with transport, meals, carers etc.

To be eligible for funded nursing care or partial funding, your relative’s assets and savings must fall within a certain threshold; in the UK this is below £23,250. You can read all about the boundaries and other care home payment options in our ‘Paying for Care Home Fees’ blog post.

If you have reached the conclusion that your relative qualifies for partial or full care home financing, you can now start thinking of how to apply for care home funding and set the wheels in motion.

  1. Get a Local Authority Needs Assessment

Before any local council can help with funding care home costs, they must first carry out a needs assessment for anybody who they think MIGHT be eligible for continuing healthcare financing. It is a legal right to have a needs assessment and it is completed free of charge, regardless of the outcome.

The needs assessment is a professional evaluation of a potential care receiver, carried out by your local authority to determine the type and level of care that your relative will need, in line with a national set of criteria. This assessment is then written up into a detailed and explanatory care plan for relatives to review.

A health and social care assessment goes beyond the cost of nursing home care; they can also help with determining eligibility for at-home health care, medical equipment, transportation, and the likes.  

If you live in England and Wales, you can find out which local authority is responsible for your needs assessment and care home funding by entering your postcode on the Government’s Local Councils and Healthcare Services webpage.  

  1. Assess the Care Plan

Following on from the physical needs assessment, you will be issued with a written care plan based on your local council’s findings, determinations and conclusions from the examination.

The care plan is carried out to advise and recommend on the type or level of care that your relative requires, for instance, personal care, at-home care, a nursing care home or a specialist care home, such as a care home for dementia patients.  

If the care assessment deems that your relative qualifies for local authority help, they are legally obligated to provide, arrange or fund healthcare services that you need.  

Your local council will then calculate how much social services care home funding you are entitled to by carrying out a financial assessment…

  1. Local Authority Financial Assessment

If your relative already knows they won’t qualify for local council help with paying nursing home costs, a financial assessment is not necessary before they go into residential care. However, if you know they meet the criteria, or even if you are unsure, it is always worth having the financial assessment to double check.

The financial assessment, also known as a means test, is another local authority assessment of the care patient, only this time to calculate how much money the local authorities need to pay when funding care home fees.

The financial assessment will evaluate your relative’s capital – assets, savings and income – to determine if the council needs to pay the entire cost of the care home, partially fund and split with your relative or if they don’t qualify for funding at all.  

There are many different criteria, boundaries and rules regarding local authority funding for care homes and the amounts they will pay out. The rules regarding funding are quite complex as there are so many, but The Money Advice Service has explained the boundaries for local authority care home funding a bit further.

  1. Agree on a Funding Budgeting Plan

Upon receiving the outcomes of the financial assessment, you will know if the local council have agreed to meet the full cost of your relatives care needs, agreed to pay some of the costs to be topped up by your relative, or if they have determined your relative is responsible for paying all of the care home fees.

If your local council is fully or partially funding care home costs for your relative, you will then work alongside the authorities to agree on a personal budget and decide who will then manage the personal care budget, there are a few options:

  • Your local authority can fully manage the personal budget, organise services and pay all fees directly to the care home
  • You can receive the funding directly from your local authority and organise the care home yourself, giving you greater freedom of choice
  • Request that a relative, family friend or care professional manages the personal care budget for your and organises the required services

We hope this has helped answer your questions on how to apply for care home funding! If you are looking for a loving care home with a homely atmosphere and a dedicated team of healthcare professionals, a Select Healthcare care home is the perfect residential care home environment for you.

We have a number of residential and specialist care homes across the country, including dementia care homes, brain injury units, palliative care, nursing care and Novero specialist care. If we sound like the home for you, enquire online and we will be in touch! Alternatively, call us on 01384 217 900 to speak directly to a specialist. 

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2018
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