Funding your care Understanding care funding options for you or a loved one can be a complex and daunting process. The cost of care is dependent on your personal circumstances and by carrying out a little research and utilising resources available to you, your options become clearer and easier to understand. When considering your best options for funding care the first step is to ensure that all state entitlements are explored. Benefit Entitlement Depending on your individual circumstances there may be benefits to which you or a loved one may be entitled. Main Benefits include: Pension Credits Saving Credits Attendance Allowance Disability Living Allowance Carers Allowance For further information on all the benefits listed here (as well as all other benefits) visit the Department for Work and Pensions web site by clicking here. Public Funding You may be eligible to receive help with funding your care from the Government. You have the right to request a free care assessment from the 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. Direct Payments If you have been assessed as needing care services, you may be offered direct payments under the new ‘Personalisation’ system. What is Personalisation? Personalisation is a new system that gives you more choice and control over your life and the support you receive. It represents an important way of ensuring more people can continue to live independently in their own home. Through direct payments Personalisation offers a new way to purchase your services, where and when you want to, using your personal budget. Personalisation allows you to know how much money you have to spend, lets you choose how to spend the money and ensures you receive the support you need. Can I access direct payments? For people who need help to stay in their own home, every local council must now offer money to buy services (direct payments) instead of arranging services for them. All councils must also offer direct payments to people who lack mental capacity, which means that you may be able to help a relative by receiving and managing a direct payment on his or her behalf. The vast majority of people getting social services from the council should be able to receive direct payments, including Older people who have been assessed as needing community care services Disabled people aged 16 and over Families with disabled children for children’s services Disabled parents for children’s services How do I access direct payments? If you decide you want to receive direct payments to make your own arrangements for the care you require rather than have the council make arrangements for you the first step is to discuss this with your social worker when they assess your care needs. If you are already in receipt services, contact your local council who will have established support for people wishing to use direct payment schemes. To access direct payments you need an assessment in the same way you would for any social service. If you have not previously had you needs assessed you will need to contact your local council to make arrangements. Why would I want direct payments? Direct payments allow individuals to make more of the decisions that affect their lives. They give flexibility and choice, by enabling people of all ages to purchase care for themselves that suits their individual needs. Direct payments allow you to decide how your needs will met, by whom and at what time. This information is based on the Department of Health 2009 ‘A guide to receiving direct payments from your council’ publication which can viewed online by clicking here. Independent Living Fund The Independent Living Fund is funding form the Government to support people with disabilities to live independently in their own homes. Payments are made to people with disabilities so they can afford the costs of a personal assistant or care agency to provide the support they need to remain living at home. You can find out more about the Independent Living Fund on the Government website by clicking here. Private Funding Should you not be eligible for public funding, or would simply prefer to fund your care privately, you will need to source your care independently. If you need advice on private care funding options we recommend that you speak with a Financial Advisor who has ‘Care Fee Planning’ knowledge and experience.