Examining Means Testing & Additional Financial Aid for In-Home Care

Here we examine means testing and financial support for home adaptations to support in-home care

For many elderly and disabled people, in-home care is the best solution for their long-term care needs, as it means they are able to maintain a degree of personal independence and live in familiar surroundings, with the support of their loved ones. However, the cost of home care is an important consideration.

As the Money Advice Service points out, even people who have paid National Insurance contributions their whole adult lives may be required to contribute towards their care costs, because social care is managed by local authorities. With that said, means tested financial support may be available to cover some of these costs.

In many cases, for home care provision to be a suitable solution, adaptations to the house itself may be necessary and some level of financial support may be available to help with this too. In this post, we examine the means testing process and the financial aid that may be on offer to those for whom home care is a viable option.

Social Care Needs Assessment

If you require in-home care, or are arranging care for a loved one, the first step is to book a social care needs assessment with your local authority. The assessment is free and is carried out by social services. You can begin the process of arranging an assessment by clicking here.

During the assessment, either a social worker or an occupational therapist will work with you to determine the extent of care that is required. They will also make recommendations for any home adaptations that may be needed, such as equipment, rails, ramps and other facilities associated with providing in home care for disabled or elderly service users.

Even if you feel you will not be entitled to financial support, it is important to ask for a social care needs assessment, as this will help to identify precisely what support is required. It may also be the case that financial help is available for disability equipment or other adaptations, even if you have a substantial income.

Financial Assessment and Means Testing

After the initial assessment is complete, a financial assessment will be carried out. This assessment, which consists of a means test, will be used to determine what financial support is available and how much you will need to contribute towards care costs yourself. For care at home, the value of your home is not factored into the means test.

What will be assessed is your regular income, which includes earnings, pension payments and money received from benefits. The assessment will also consider your capital, which includes savings, investments and business assets. Some disability benefit payments may not be counted against you during your assessment.

Typically, if your capital amounts to £23,250 or more, you will be required to pay the full fees for your home care. Capital of £14,250 or less is usually ignored. Capital in between those two figures will usually result in you being eligible for some fees, with your local authority also contributing. Your income will be considered on top of your capital.

Funding For Home Adaptations

In some instances, there may be significant funding available for home adaptations. For example, if it is determined during your initial social care needs assessment that special disability equipment is needed, this will be provided free of charge by your local authority. This also applies to other small changes costing £1,000 or less.

For more significant changes, you may qualify for funding through a Disabled Facilities Grant. This grant can potentially be used to pay for a large number of adaptations, including elderly care facilities. For those living in England, the maximum grant is £30,000 and it may be paid in instalments, as the work is carried out, or as a lump sum.

The Disabled Facilities Grant is means tested and the amount paid out will depend on the specific needs of the individual. Both household income and household savings over £6,000 will be considered during the means testing. The grant is available to both tenants renting a property and to home owners.

Summary

Care within the home is often the best solution for elderly or disabled people, but one of the considerations is clearly affordability, and as such what financial support is available. At present, local authorities offer means tested funding for the care itself, and also for any home adaptations that may be needed to support care provision.

If you or your loved one live in the Hertfordshire or Dorset regions and would like to enquire about professional care at home, contact Abbots Care today. You can email us at: info@abbotscare.com or give us a call on 01727 891 004.

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