Paying for homecare with local authority funding

If your capital, savings and or income puts you below the lower means-test thresholds* then you may qualify for your local authority to fund your care.

Those with savings or income within the means-test thresholds may qualify for partial funding. Although this sounds simple, you won’t be surprised to hear that the process can sometimes be a little more complex. For example there are often occasions when someone’s property can’t be included in the means test (the most obvious one being if you are still living in it), and there are also certain types of investment that can’t be included either.

The level of funding will depend upon an assessment of needs which is broadly based on the level of assistance you required with daily living activities, such as washing, dressing, preparing meals and taking medication.

If your local authority does pay for some or all of your care, you will be given a personal budget, and it could:

  • provide the care directly to you, either through their own staff or through a contract organisation.
  • give you direct payments that enable you to buy the services directly with money given to you by the local authority.

There are some items the local authority must provide for free if you are assessed as needing them. These  include “community equipment” which means items specifically designed to make daily life easier for you. For example:

  • equipment that helps with zips or buttons
  • telephones with large buttons or flashing lights
  • communication aids

The need for this type of equipment will come out of an assessment of your needs. A local authority may have set rules about the type of equipment it will consider supplying, or the level of costs it will meet. If this is the case, you could argue they shouldn’t have blanket policies about the equipment they will provide and should make decisions depending on individual circumstances.

In some case, a local authority may also pay for minor adaptations (costing less than £1,000) to your home. Things like grab rails on the bath or blocks to make the bed higher may be paid for.

For more information on local authority funding of your care, you can check out NHS Choices.

*The amounts vary across the country; this table highlights the figures for 2014/15

  • England upper: £23,250; lower £14,250
  • Scotland upper: £26,000; lower £16,000
  • Wales upper: £24,000; lower £24,000
  • Northern Ireland: upper £23,250; lower £14,250

For more information on paying for care to live at home, give us a call, we’d be happy to help.