Introduction to Long Term Care

Understanding the long term care system better is essential to plan how you can fund your care at home or in a care home. We often have to make a quick and difficult decision about our own or a loved one’s care needs. Thinking about the options in advance will help you in the long run.

How much will long term care cost?

How much money you will need to pay for long term care depends on many factors such as your health and mobility, what level of help you will need, the value of your savings, assets and income and what local council or NHS funding you might be entitled to. However, you could end up paying for all of it, some of it or nothing at all.

If you have a disability or complex medical problem, you might qualify for free NHS continuing healthcare (CHC) if you are an adult. It is important to find out if you qualify and get an assessment.

CHC is a package of healthcare that is arranged and funded by the NHS in the UK (excluding Scotland). It is provided for you at home or in a care home, nursing home or hospice. You are more likely to qualify for this if you mostly need healthcare needs (a nurse or medical attention) as opposed to social care needs (a carer).

If you don’t qualify for NHS Continuing Health Care you may qualify for NHS funding Nursing Care, but only if you are in a care home.

Funding for long term care: Local Authority Funding

You may be able to get help from your local authority to help with the costs of a care home. Or if appropriate, you can stay at home and the local authority provide carers, support carers, and equipment.

How much funding you will receive will depend on:

  • your individual needs based on a care needs assessment and,
  • how much you can afford to pay towards the costs of care yourself based on a financial assessment.

Funding for long term care: Self-funding

Many people fear having to sell their home in order to fund their long term care.

If you need care in your own home its value isn’t counted and this is also the case if you move into a care home but your partner continues to live in your own home.

You may not qualify for funding from the NHS and even if you do, the amount you receive might not be enough to cover the cost of care at home or in a care home. If this happens, you will need to think about how you are going to top up any contributions.

Are you entitled to claim benefits?

You may be entitled to claim some benefits, even if you have to pay for care. These benefits aren’t means tested, so you could get them if your health needs are great enough, regardless of your income and savings.

  • Attendance Allowance, if you have reached State Pension age ,
  • Personal Independence Payment (which is replacing Disability Living Allowance), if you are aged 16 or over but under State Pension age,
  • Disability Living Allowance, for a person aged under 16

There are other benefits that you might be able to claim, depending on your circumstances.

If you would like to learn more about planning for funding your long term care, then please get in touch.

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