What happens if I pay for my own care but my money is reducing?
If you have more than £23,250 in savings and assets (not including the cost of your home unless you are going into a care home), you will be responsible for funding your own care. However, if your money is reducing and your savings are likely to fall below this amount, you may be eligible for help with funding.
When do I need to contact you?
You should make sure that you contact us in plenty of time. The process can take several months so you will need to ensure that you have enough money to pay for your care until funding has been agreed. You should try and contact us at least 3 months before your savings will go below £23,250. Please note that we can only provide funding from the date you contact us. This cannot be backdated.
If your money is reducing, you should ask for a care needs assessment (Better Lives assessment). This will identify what level of support you are eligible for and your personal budget (the amount of money the council will pay towards your care and support). After this, if you are eligible for support, you will need a financial assessment to work out how much you will need to contribute towards your personal budget.
How should I prepare for my financial assessment?
To make the financial assessment as easy as possible, you should make sure you have details ready on the following:
- savings in bank accounts, building societies, ISAs or premium bonds
- stocks and shares you own
- property or land you own (including any overseas)
- the cost of housing (mortgage or rent payments)
- benefits (including Attendance Allowance or PIP)
- personal details
- next of kin (i.e. spouse, children)
- the cost of any “disability related expenditure” (i.e. special equipment maintenance, mobility costs, extra personal care)
What to expect
Once you have completed your financial assessment, a member of our Finance Team will get in touch to offer advice and let you know the next steps.
If you are in a care home which you pay for yourself but your money is reducing, you may not be offered the chance to stay in the care home that you’re currently in. This is because we may find a more cost effective option based on your level of need.
Another option is to get a “third party top-up” to make up the difference between what you and the local authority can afford and the cost of the home you are in. This is when family or friends contribute. There are also some organisations that may be able to help with top-ups. See: Search for charitable and educational grants - Turn2us
If you’re a homeowner and your money is reducing, equity in your home can also be used to help fund your care. For example, if you are in a care home, you could use a deferred payment agreement which delays the payments so that you don’t need to sell your home. Upon your death, the local authority will reclaim the money you owe for your care from the sale of your house or from your estate.
How to let us know
There are several ways you can let us know that your money is reducing and is likely to fall below £23,250. You can contact your social worker or email [email protected]
For more information, please see factsheet 'Paying for care when my money is reducing' on our Factsheets page.
Paying your own care costs if you've used all your savings - Money Advice Service
Paying for your own social care (self-funding) - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Deferred payment agreements for long term care | Care Advice Buckinghamshire
Paying for care | Working out the costs of elderly care | Age UK