Myth‐busting guide to funded and self‐funded care

April 11, 2019

In Holmes Care Group

Working out how you will fund your care, especially over the long‐term, is often a confusing and overwhelming experience. With so many different buzzwords to decipher and boxes to be ticked, it can sometimes feel like an uphill battle.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Help is available from a number of organisations, including charities, local authorities, care providers and more to help you navigate your way through the process. To get you started, Holmes Care Group have put together a short guide to point you in the right direction

First things first 

Before you begin delving into the different types of funding available you need to have a clear idea of the kind of care you or your loved one will need. This means requesting a Care Needs Assessment from your local authority. 

As part of this assessment, your specific care needs will be looked at and the council will also look at your personal finances, including your income and savings to see if you qualify for additional support. This will help determine what kind of care home is right for you personally and financially. 

It is important to note that regardless of your financial status, this assessment is free of charge and you are fully entitled to it.

Am I a self‐funder? 

There are two main types of care home resident – those who fund the care themselves (a self‐funded placement) and those who receive full or partial funding from the local council (a funded placement). To receive council funding, the council will assess your income, capital and savings during your Financial Assessment and work out if you qualify for full or partial support. 

In England, to be a self‐ funder, you need to have savings worth more than £23,250 and/or own your own property. In Scotland, the figure is set at £23,750.

What other options are there to self‐fund my care?

If you find that you don’t qualify for council funding there are several other ways to help fund your care. The most controversial of these is selling your home, but before you panic about this and start making arrangements, remember that your home is unlikely be viewed as an asset if you live with a partner, child, or a relative who is disabled or over the age of 60. 

This is why it is so important to get a Financial Assessment even if you think you might be a self‐funder – the assets you own might not always count towards how much the council decides you can pay, and you might still qualify for support. 

For those who don’t fall into this category, there are other options out there to help. For example, some people decide to rent out their home instead, using the rental value towards the cost of their care and allowing for the home to be passed on to loved ones when the time is right.

In Scotland, there are even more options to help you pay for a care home. For example: 

  • Care home ‘top‐ups’: a friend or relative may be willing to provide a top‐up, which can enable you to select a care home that costs more than the amount provided for by your council
  • Care home insurance: after an initial lump sum is paid, an Immediate Need Care Fee Annuity provides regular tax‐free income towards your care home placement

The care home I like costs more than the council is willing to pay. What can I do? 

If your preferred care home’s costs exceed the payments made by your Council, you or a relative can make top‐up payments. This allows you to live in the care home of your choice while also receiving help from the council.

Holmes Care Group can talk you through the process to make this easy as possible. Read about choosing a care home.

Getting advice 

Remember that there is plenty of help out there to guide you through the process. 

If you need further advice on financial options and guidance, you can contact the below impartial services: 

  • Age UK on freephone 0800 169 6565 
  • Independent Age on freephone 0800 319 6789 
  • The Money Advice Service on freephone 0800 138 7777 

Alternatively, you can contact the Holmes Care Group on 01708 251227 for further assistance. We’re always happy to help!

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Thank you for the excellent level of care that my father, Frank Boyle, has received. Bankview demonstrated for us the template for a care home and how it should feel and be run. Friendly, welcoming, excellent care levels, length of time staff remain loyal to the home and above all a clear and comforting atmosphere of great leadership.

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R Burns

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K Macdonald in memory of my Aunt Jean

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Shelagh Goldie

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J Barber

Grandholm Care Home

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I McCormack

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