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What benefits can you claim if you are in a care home and self-funding?

Paying for residential care in a care home is very expensive. In fact, the

weekly expense for residence in a care home averages £800, while a place in a nursing home incurs an average cost of £1,078 per week. 

It is, therefore, no surprise that 96% of UK Care Seekers believe it’s difficult to find funding for a care home. 

Nevertheless, there are various benefits and allowances available for individuals looking to stay in a care home to assist in alleviating the financial burden associated with care home expenses.

What benefits can I claim whilst in a care home? 

When it comes to care home fees and funding, many residents 

overlook potential benefits and schemes they might qualify for, leading to missed opportunities to save on expenses. 

Even if you have already transitioned into a care home, we take a look at the benefits you can claim to fund your residential care so that you are aware of all the available options for potential savings.

Attendance allowance

Attendance Allowance (AA) is a weekly pensioner benefit designed to aid individuals assessed with illnesses, physical or mental disabilities, or long-term health conditions. It ensures residents receive safe and secure care, day or night. 

That said, AA rates vary based on the required level of care and the specific medical condition. The eligibility also begins at the State Pension age of 66. 

If you live in a care home and are self-funding, you can continue getting Attendance Allowance. However, if you are receiving funding from your local authority, you will receive AA for the first 28 days only.

Disability living allowance care

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a UK government benefit designed to support individuals with disabilities or long-term health conditions in meeting the extra costs associated with their care.  

The care component of DLA specifically addresses assistance needs. It is awarded based on the level of care required, ranging from basic assistance to full-time supervision. The amount granted depends on the severity of the disability and the impact on daily living. 

DLA aims to enhance the independence and quality of life for individuals, providing financial assistance to cover essential care-related expenses, and contributing to a more inclusive and supportive environment for those with disabilities.

Pension credit

Pension Credit (PC) is a weekly allowance providing additional financial support to ensure a minimum income and assist with living expenses. To qualify, individuals must be over the State Pension age (66) and have a low income. 

PC is a means-tested benefit, evaluating various income sources, including State Pension, other pensions, earnings from employment and self-employment, and social security benefits like Carer’s Allowance. 

If single, a guaranteed weekly payment of £201.05 will be granted, rising to £306.85 for those with a partner. 

The eligibility also extends beyond low income, considering factors such as savings, housing costs, caregiving responsibilities, children or disabilities. 

NHS continuing healthcare

If your needs are predominantly health-related, the NHS coordinates and covers your care through NHS Continuing Healthcare (NHS CHC). If deemed eligible for NHS CHC, your care home placement incurs no costs.

When your needs are assessed, the council must refer you to the NHS if there’s a potential eligibility for NHS CHC.

For individuals not meeting NHS CHC criteria but requiring nursing care, the NHS provides a financial contribution directly to the nursing home, known as NHS-Funded Nursing Care (NHS FNC). 

Are there local support services for individuals in care homes, regardless of funding status?

There are various local support services available to individuals residing in care homes, regardless of their funding status. Some of the most common include community outreach programmes, volunteer initiatives, and social service agencies, all of which extend their companionship, offer mental health aid and organise supported activities. 

In addition, health professionals, including community nurses and therapists, often provide medical assistance and therapeutic interventions. And public libraries, religious institutions, and cultural centres frequently arrange visits and cultural activities, enriching residents’ experiences. 

These services aim to create a cohesive, inclusive environment, ensuring that all care home residents have access to a spectrum of resources and engagement opportunities. They also help residents live a fulfilling and supportive lifestyle irrespective of their financial circumstances within the care home setting.

Can my funding status change over time, affecting benefit eligibility?

Yes, your funding status for a care home can change over time, potentially impacting benefit eligibility. In fact, changes in your financial situation, assets, or health needs may lead to alterations in the level of support you receive. If your financial circumstances improve, you might also become ineligible for certain benefits or funding assistance. Conversely, if your health deteriorates, you may qualify for additional support. 

It’s crucial to regularly review and update your financial and health assessments to ensure that you receive the appropriate level of care funding and benefits based on your current circumstances. 

You should also regularly consult with relevant authorities or financial advisors who can provide specific guidance based on your situation.

Think you might be eligible for any of the funding options above? Simply contact The Fremantle Trust today to find out more about how we offer personalised support for your loved ones.