Funding your care
Find out where to go for funding support
There’s no way around it – social care isn’t free, and working out how you’ll pay for your care is a big decision that only you can make.
Depending on your financial situation, you may qualify for some level of live-in care funding from your local council. If you don’t qualify you may decide to use savings, or release money from your home.
On this page you’ll find an introduction to the funding methods widely used by Elder customers. We’ve also shared links to useful resources to help you research your options and make an informed decision.
Local Authority funding
If you’d like to explore whether you’re eligible for funding from your local authority (council), you’ll need to ask them to complete a care needs assessment. If they deem you to have sufficient care needs, they’ll then do a financial means test – looking at your savings and assets to understand how much you can afford to pay towards your care.
There is no set time frame for how long it’ll take to complete your assessments and receive your funding. If you think you need funding support, it’s best to apply as soon as you can.
In England, If you have less than £14,250 in savings and assets then the local authority will usually fund your care in full. If you have between £14,250 and £23,250 they may partially fund your care – expecting you to contribute towards the cost too. If your savings and assets are over £23,250 you may not qualify for funding.
In Scotland your savings and assets will need to be between £20,250 and £32,750 or lower to receive funding support.
And, in Wales the threshold is £50,000 – if you have less than this you’ll qualify for some level of funding.
If you choose live-in care, the value of your property will not be included in your financial means test, as this will be where your care takes place.
Your Personal budget
Once you’ve passed both your needs assessment and financial means test, you’ll be assigned your Personal Budget. This is the overall cost of the care and support your local authority deems appropriate to meet your needs. It’ll include the kind of care and support you need, how much they will pay, and how much you’ll pay – if you’re required to contribute.
Different Local Authorities use different methods to calculate personal budgets. If you want to find out more about the calculation process, it’s best to contact your local authority.
Do you live in Scotland?
Since 2002, everyone in Scotland over the age of 65 has been entitled to free personal care if they are assessed as requiring it. Those who are eligible can receive a flat rate payment of £233.10 for personal care per week.
Direct Payments (England and Wales)
Once you’ve been assigned your personal budget, you may choose to receive the funding as a direct payment. This means your Local Authority will allow you to manage and use your funding on a care provider of your choosing. You’ll need to request a direct payment if you wish to use Elder. Find out more below.
Self-directed Support (SDS) works in much the same way as direct payments do in England and Wales – you’ll receive the money you need to pay for care directly from your local authority, and arrange your own support from your preferred care provider. To use a provider like Elder, you’ll need to request an ‘Option 1’ payment.
Even if you are eligible for funding you may still need to contribute financially towards the cost of your care. For example, if your chosen provider costs more than the amount your local authority deems you need, you’ll have to make up the difference.
NHS Continuing Healthcare funding (CHC)
Some people with long-term complex health needs are eligible for social care arranged and funded in full by the NHS.
Like local authority funding, you’ll have to complete a series of assessments to work out if you qualify, and then you’ll be assigned a personal health budget. However, because CHC covers your care costs in full, there’s no financial means test.
CHC is reserved for those with more intensive health and care needs, meaning those who qualify may require specialist care, for example PEG feeding or stoma support. This falls outside of what an introductory service like Elder can provide.
CHC works very differently in Wales, and has been replaced with a scheme called Hospital Based Complex Clinical Care in Scotland. If you’re considering this type of funding, we’ve shared some resources below.
Paying for care without funding support
If you’re not eligible for funding support, you may wish to explore options that can release funds from your home. These options include –
Lifetime mortgage – you’ll continue to own your own home, but take out a loan secured on it. The lender will provide a lump sum or monthly income based on its value. Eventually the home is sold and the money from the sale is used to pay off the loan.
Home reversion plan – you’ll sell all or part of your home in return for a lump sum or monthly income. Your provider won’t take any money out of your home until the whole property goes on the market and sells.
This is a very broad overview of complex financial products. They may impact certain benefits, as well as any inheritance you may wish to leave to loved ones. It’s important to conduct thorough research and seek the support of a Financial Advisor before entering into these types of agreements.
Get support from a financial advisor
SOLLA helps people find a local accredited financial adviser who understands financial needs in later life. Their experts can talk you through the options available to you, and help you feel more confident in your financial choices.
Advocates in health and social care are there to support you through complex processes – such as ensuring your needs are properly assessed, and accessing funding. They’ll help ensure your voice is heard and that your wishes are respected. If you’d like to learn more about using advocates, OPPAL is an independent charity offering free resources and signposting services.
The Funding Calculator
Our care costs calculator is completely free to use and can help you get all the funding you deserve. Answer a few simple questions to understand your eligibility for the funding streams outlined above.
Unfortunately, it currently only provides guidance in-line with local authorities in England, so we can’t guarantee the results will be suited to those living in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.