Local Authority Funding for Home Care – A Breakdown
It’s hard enough having to source home care for yourself or a loved one. And with the stress, financial obligations should be the least of your worries. Homecare Gurus Ltd tailors for many clients who need support and care for a vast number of reasons, and we also feel it’s important to update you on financial changes.
The financial assessment
If you are eligible for care following a needs assessment, a financial assessment (also known as a ‘means test’) is then organised by your local authority. Looking at your capital (savings, and assets) as well as any income, they will use this to determine how much you should contribute towards the cost of your care.
For the financial year 2019-20, if your total capital is:
• less than £14,250: you’ll be entitled to maximum support from the local authority. You won’t have to contribute from your capital, but you may be expected to contribute from your income.
• more than £14,250, but less than £23,250: you have to contribute towards the cost of your care – £1 for every £250 of savings between £14,250 and £23,250. This is known as ‘tariff income’.
• more than £23,250: you’ll have to pay the full cost of your care. If you have less than £23,250 in capital, but a weekly income that is considered to be high enough to cover the cost of your care, you’ll have to pay all of your fees.
To note: for care at home, the value of your home is not included in the financial assessment. However, if you are being assessed for residential care in a care home or nursing home, the value of your home will count as part of your total capital.
If you’re a pensioner, any income contributions you make shouldn’t take your income below the level of the weekly Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG), which is £189 (2019-20). If you’re a member of a couple, your individual MIG is £144.30, or £288.60 if you both need care.
It’s useful to know that some local authorities add 25% to the MIG and also might pay higher than the basic level, so it’s worth asking your local authority what their policy is to enable you to plan your cash flow.