How do Live in Care work in UK?
Social care, mainly home care for adults has generally been a heated topic of debate amongst different political parties. Diving into the details of different parties could be a strenuous process so this article will only analyze how adults can live in care through the currently funded social care.
A Hybrid Care System
The social care system is a hybrid system right now, home care for adults is either paid by adults for their own care, or by the government and sometimes by both. The care system is not a free system contrary to NHS and while there are some services that might be provided for free most services are paid for.
Who can benefit from Public Care/Government Support?
An adult with the following needs is determined eligible by local authorities for public care:
- Need for care and support due to physical and mental conditions.
- Due to the above needs they are unable to perform specific tasks i.e. ability to prepare food or drink, dress appropriately etc.
- Due to their mental and physical condition and lack of support their wellbeing is affected.
The Process after Meeting the Eligibility Criteria:
Once an adult is declared eligible for public support. Authorities will conduct a financial assessment and it will be assessed what the adults can pay for themselves to live in care. There are generally three cases:
- If your savings and capital are below £14,250, your care will be paid for.
- If your savings are £14,250-£23,250 then you will get some support from authorities.
- If your savings are above £23,250, then you will pay the entire amount for living in homecare.
If you are eligible for receiving funding you will either be paid directly or someone who is acting on your behalf will be paid. If you are declared non-eligible you can file an appeal after 12 months. Moreover, you will mostly be free to choose if you want homecare or if you have to be in a home.
Although there was supposed to be a lifetime cost cap of £72,000 but the government has delayed that until April 2020.
In case of any changes to your condition and an increase in expenses you can ask the local authorities to change your package.
What if I want to Pay Later?
If you want to defer payments you can request for authorities to pay for your costs right now and recover the costs at a later date from your home or any other assets you have.
What about Scotland?
If you are in Scotland your financial assessment will be as following:
- If your savings and capital are below £16,000 your care will be paid for.
- If your savings are £16,000-£26,000 then you will get some support from authorities.
- If your savings are above £26,000, then you will pay the entire amount for living in homecare, but you will still be expected to contribute something from your income.
Moreover in Scotland anyone over the age of 65 has an access to free personal care, in areas such as personal hygiene assistance, nutrition, and mobility etc. if you are declared eligible for public care you receive £171 per week, and if you are eligible for free personal care you receive £78 per week, and there is no cap or plans for cap in Scotland.
Generally costs you will have to incur in Scotland for homecare is around £600 for residential home care and around £745 for a home with nursing care.
What about the Rest?
The system of public care in Northern Ireland is a bit different from the rest and is overseen by five major social and health care trusts, and the general division is as following:
- People above the age of 75 receive free homecare in their homes.
- People under 75 might have to pay depending on your assets, i.e. if your assets are above £23, 250 then you will need to pay for your care.
In Wales everyone can get their care needs assessed, and the general expenses are £60 per week, but in case you have savings of more than £24,000 without your home included, you will be expected to meet your homecare costs.
The laws are very different so the actual costs you might be paid and you might have to pay for living in care depend on the your assessment, but the basic structure should be as the aforementioned details.