Funding Sources for Care
Anyone can arrange care and support services privately and pay for it themselves or use their direct payment funding. However, it is advisable to contact your local social services department first to see whether you are eligible for any financial assistance. You may be entitled to full or partial funding depending on your circumstances.
Every local council in England uses a national framework from the Department of Health to decide eligibility criteria for financial assistance with adult social care services. Your local social services department will undertake a care assessment and advise you of your eligibility. Some people who receive financial assistance may choose to use Disabled Living Allowance (DLA), Continuing Health Care (CHC) and/or their pension to fund the cost of their care.
Various forms of financial support are available from the state:
- Direct payments are cash payments paid to individuals by social services (subject to an assessment of needs and eligibility), which allow people to choose their own care company to provide the care services they need. This option gives people the flexibility to alter the type of services if their needs change (for more information, visit the NHS Choices website).
- Personal budgets are part of the Government's new way of managing care and support ('personalisation'), which is designed to ensure that individuals receive the support they need. Personalisation aims to give better advice and information, health and social care, prevention and community support to everyone regardless of their wealth or eligibility for services. A personal budget is a set amount of council money (agreed following an assessment of an individual's needs) that can be used to arrange and pay for care and support. It can be received as a direct (cash) payment, through a managed account, or as a mixture of the two.
- The Independent Living Fund was set up and financed by central Government for the financial support of disabled people to enable them to live in the community rather than in residential care.
- The Attendance Allowance is a tax-free benefit for people aged 65 and over who need help with personal care because they are mentally or physically disabled.
- The Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is an allowance for children and adults with a physical or mental disability who need help with walking or personal care and who are under the age of 65.