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Everyone is entitled to a free Local Authority care needs assessment. If you qualify for help, the local Authority have a legal duty to provide or arrange care
 
Paying for Care 
 
Choosing the right care company for yourself or a family member is probably one of the most important decisions you will make. The decision will not only be based on cost but on personal recommendations and the overall quality of care offered. 
Everyone is entitled to a free Local Authority care needs assessment. If you qualify for help, the local Authority have a legal duty to provide or arrange care. 
 
Are you eligible for financial help? 
 
Not everyone is eligible for financial help- at the time of writing, if you have £23,250 or more in savings and live in England, you will need to fund care yourself. If you have less than this amount in savings, the next step will be to ask for a financial assessment or ‘means test’, which works out if you should pay for care. The council will look at your regular income, for example your state pension, attendance allowance and savings and investments. The value of your home will not be taken into account if you are still living at home although a second property will be considered as an investment. 
Couples will be considered as individuals, the financial assessment relating solely to the person requiring care support. 
If you have less than £14,250 in savings, these will not be included in the means test and the Local Authority will pay for care once they have taken into account your income. 
 
How is the financial support calculated? 
 
It is very complicated!! Follow this link for a practical example of how the Local Authority calculation is made. 
 
Direct Payments 
The direct payments scheme allows families who require Government financial assistance to pay for care, to choose the right care company for them. 
‘Direct payments are local Health and Social Care (HSC) Trust payments for people who have been assessed as needing help from social services, and who would like to arrange and pay for their own care and support services instead of receiving them directly from the local trust.’ 
For more information click on https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/direct-payments 
 
Benefits 
Every year £3.5bn of Pension Credit and Housing Benefit remains unclaimed by older people. Age UK has a benefits calculator for you to use to ensure you are claiming all you’re are entitled to. 
 
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