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How to Pay For The Cost Of Care

From September 2021, the UK government said that it would introduce a cap on the amount people would be expected to pay for their care. The good news for people with considerable assets – for example, people who own their own home – is that only the first £86,000 of personal care costs will have to be met. After that, the public purse will take over. The other change comes with so-called means-tested social care funding. Anyone with assets over £23,250 used to not qualify for social care funding but this is set to rise to a threshold of £100,000. These changes will only take effect from the autumn of 2023, however. In the meantime, if you need care, the likelihood is you will have to pay for it. So, what can you do?

Get a Care Needs Assessment

To begin with, you won’t know what your needs are or how much social care you will need to pay for without an assessment. To establish this – as well as whether any public funds might be made available to you – you will need to apply for a care needs assessment from your local authority. This will be your borough council, your county council or your unitary authority if you live in such an area. The council will assess your needs and, if eligible, provide you with a basic care plan.

Ask For a Financial Means Test

Understanding your needs will allow you to work out what you can afford to pay for. If your needs are assessed in such a way that you can afford to procure some home care services directly, then there is nothing to stop you. If you cannot afford them based on your income, then your local authority will also be able to offer you a means-tested financial assessment. If you don’t have sufficient assets, then you could be awarded with the necessary funding by your council from their social care budget.

Consider Care at Home

Whether you are awarded funding or not, it is important to note just how much more affordable care in your home can be compared to residential care. This is because the overheads associated with in-home care are much lower than they are for residential care homes. Keeping the costs of care down this way will also mean being able to retain a more independent lifestyle, something that is important to many people. With the right support package, your changing care needs could be met for many years at a fraction of the price of a place in a care home.

Covering the Costs of Residential Care

Residential elderly care homes cost an average of over £700 per week to live in while nursing homes cost significantly more than this figure. Unless you have few assets and savings, you will be expected to cover these costs. Some people rent their old home out to meet these costs while others pay for it from their dwindling savings. You could even be forced to sell your home and other assets until the threshold, mentioned above, is reached. Therefore, coming up with a sound financial plan will be essential if all of your care needs are to be met.

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