Unlike NHS services, social care services are not automatically free for everyone. Unless an assessment of your financial circumstances shows that you cannot afford to pay for your own care, you will have to pay for some or all of your care.
The first step is to ask your local council for a Care Needs Assessment. This is free of charge to everyone regardless of financial circumstances, and they will go through with you in detail about the support you need both now and in the future. If the assessment shows that you need some support, then a Care Plan will be put together with you about what services you need to meet your individual needs.
Your local council can also carry out a financial assessment (also known as a means test) to check if you qualify for any help towards the cost of your care. Here is how that assessment might affect how you pay for your care:
|England||Savings and investments worth more than £23,250||You will pay the full cost of the services that you receive|
|Savings and investments more than £14,250 but less than £23,250||Your local council will assess what care you need and what you can afford to pay. They will then make a contribution towards the cost of your care with you paying the rest.|
|Less than £14,250||The local council will pay for your care. However, they will still take your eligible income into account.|
|Wales||£24,000||Upper savings threshold for any local authority funding (care at home)|
|£50,000||Upper savings threshold for any local authority funding (care in a care home)|
If you are paying for your own care, there are a number of ways that you can fund the cost such as from personal income, savings or investments, from an annuity.
You may find it beneficial to discuss your options with an Independent Care Fees Advisor. You can find more information about this as well as other useful advice about paying for your care on the Money Advice Service website.