Care and support services are not free. Most people have to pay something towards their own care and some will have to pay for all of the costs.
If you need long term help and support to live life to the full and you are eligible you will be given a ‘Personal Budget’ through Social Services. A Personal Budget is an amount of money set aside for you to spend on the support you need. Having a Personal Budget means that you are in charge of how the money for your support is spent. Having a Personal Budget doesn’t mean you have to receive the money yourself if you don’t want to. After your assessment with Social Services they will tell you roughly how much money might need to be spent on your support – this is called your indicative Personal Budget.
Social Services will also need to work out if you will have to pay towards the cost of your support, by doing a financial assessment. Knowing your indicative Personal Budget in advance, helps you to plan how you want to be supported to meet your needs and achieve the things you want to achieve.
The options for how the money can be managed are:
- A Managed Budget – the Council will hold onto your money and buy your care and support for you
- Direct Payment – this is where the money is paid straight into your Personal Budget bank account
- A 3rd Party Cash Payment – this is where the money is paid to someone that you choose to help you, for example, a friend or relative, or an organisation that runs a payments service. Or you could choose to have the money sent to a support provider – this is called a Provider Managed Account
- A Combination of any of these three
In all of these options you will always know exactly how much money is in your Personal Budget and what it is being spent on. You will be able to have as much control over the money and support as you want to.
Currently, local authorities won’t provide care services if you have more than £23,500 in savings and property (known as “capital”). However, from April 2016, this threshold will change to £118,000 of capital if you are in a care home, or £27,000 if you receive care in your own home, which means that more people will be eligible for help sooner.
If you or your relative are not eligible for government funding and are required to pay for the care yourselves. We recommend you do your research on the local care providers in your area. Review their CQC report, which can be accessed via their website. A recommendation from someone who has used the service can be helpful as you get first hand feedback on their experience of the service.
Click here to find out about funding.