Funding care in your own home

Many people assume that receiving care in their own home could be beyond their financial means. By carrying out a little research and utilising resources available, your options will become easier to understand and you may be able to have care in your own home. So here are a few tips on how  funding care in your own home works.

State funding

You may be eligible to receive help with funding care in your own home from the Government. You have the right to request a free care assessment from your local Social Services department; this can include a community care assessment and a means-tested financial assessment to see if you are eligible to receive support with the cost of your care.

Be aware, if you do qualify for funding you are not obliged to use Social Services’ choice of provider and can request Direct Payments funding at any time. This allows you the freedom to choose your preferred supplier of care services.

Direct payments

Funding care in your own home means you have to understand the payments and have them checked in on time. If you have been assessed as needing care services, you may be offered Direct Payments; if not then you are entitled to request Direct Payments at any time. As part of this arrangement you will receive payments from your local council which will allow you to choose your own care provider. These payments are designed to support you to remain at home as well as encourage independence and social inclusion in areas such as employment, education, leisure activities and accessing the community.

Central Government is looking to increase the number of people who receive Direct Payments and the benefits that they bring. If you are considered eligible for support with funding your local council are duty bound to consider direct payments as an option, instead of making decisions on your behalf.

Direct payments – Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of direct payments?

The direct payment system allows you to:

  • Have more say into what care you need,
  • Decide who you want to provide that care,
  • Arrange services and staff at times best suited to your lifestyle.

How do I know if I am eligible?

Your first point of contact should be your local social services dept, which will send a social worker to assess your care needs. Provided they find that you are eligible to receive help from social services, you are then entitled to ask to receive direct payments to choose your own care provider rather than social services deciding for you.

Eligible individuals include:

  • Older people and people with a disability, aged 16 and over,
  • A person with parental responsibility for a child,
  • Carers aged 16 and over.

What if I am unable to manage a direct payment on my own? 

As well as giving you the option of receiving a direct payment, social services may offer their own in-house support services.

They may also refer you to an independent living support group to help you set your care up.

The type of services recommended by the council will likely be from a list of local domiciliary care providers (Approved Provider List can be obtained online or from your council’s ‘adult social care team’).

You are also entitled to enlist the help of a responsible individual of your choosing, which may be a close friend or relative, to help you manage the direct payment scheme.

What if the care I require costs more than the value of my direct payment?

As you are effectively choosing and purchasing your own services you can top up your direct payment to receive additional services. This allows you to, buy your care from the organisation you prefer and organise services in addition to those your local council assessed for.

For further information on Direct Payments you can talk to us, or download the Dept. of Health’s guide to Direct Payments.

Independent Living Fund (I.L.F.)

Funded by Central Government, the Independent Living Fund supports people with disabilities to live independently in their own homes, rather than in residential care.

Payments are made to people with disabilities so they can afford the employment costs, or associated employment costs of a personal assistant or care agency to provide the support they need to remain living at home.

Private funding (self-paying)

If you are not eligible for state funding, or would simply prefer to fund your care privately, you will need to source your care independently. Faced with so many different options this can become both a time-consuming and overwhelming task.

Please be aware that even though you don’t qualify for state funding, Social Services may offer to organise care on your behalf.

You may end up paying Social Services more per hour than if you engaged an independent care provider direct.

For example one London Borough in the South West charges its citizens £18.20 per hour and then contracts out to the independent sector at £13.50 per hour. If you went straight to the independent provider it would only cost you between £14.50 and £15.50 per hour.

If you are looking for support with financial planning, we would recommend that you contact a Financial Advisor (FA) specialising in Care advice. They can discuss options such as:

  • Equity release
  • Funding care fees
  • Estate preservation
  • Wealth preservation

Supporting you in your own home

Whether your care is funded through private or public funds, Blue Ribbon makes no distinction and will deliver the highest quality home care service tailored to your individual requirements.

If you would like to receive a quote for funding care in your own home and to receive a service based on your individual care needs, please contact your local office.