The Financial Assessment of Long Term Care Needs

For those who need long term care, determining out how to pay for it can be a daunting task. Healthcare costs continue to rise, meaning that those who are required to pay for their own long term care need to find creative ways to pay for the care that they desperately need.  However, no matter what kind of care you need, or if you feel like you can afford to pay it, you are entitled to a financial assessment by your local authority.

The assessment, or Section 47 Care Assessment, performed by your local authority, helps to determine your most appropriate and necessary needs. It will also help determine the best place for your needs. This usually means that some kind of home visit is included in the assessment process. It is crucial that you relay all necessary information during this assessment period because all further determinations will be based upon the assessment needs that are discovered during this process. For many consumers, having a close friend of family member present during the home visit can be helpful. This helps to further ensure that nothing is left out during the financial assessment process.

If care in a home is determined to be the best course of action, the local authority is obligated to make sure that suitable care is made available to you. The local authority will do a means-test you on you to look at your savings and capital. This includes your banking accounts, your bonds, your investment products including stocks, your income, and any property that you currently own. If you own any joint savings or investment products, they will typically be split in two to account for your individual share.

There are terms under which you will have to pay for your own long term care. Self-funding can apply to you if you have decided to move into a care home without a financial assessment being performed or if you have decided that you choose to pay for your own care. You will also be required to pay for your own care if your capital, including the savings and assets that were previously assessed, exceed the national maximum capital limit of £23,250.

The cost of care varies can vary from home to home quite substantially, so it can be difficult to predict how much you will be required to pay until you know exactly what your needs are and will you will be receiving care. If you are required to self-fund your care, it is important to pick a home that you will be able to afford on a long term basis but also one that will be able to fulfill all of our needs.

There are some benefits that may be available to you, even if you do have assets that exceed the £23,250 limit. These can include such things as the attendance allowance, disability living allowance, and pension credit. However, these benefits have separate processes for assessment and qualification and therefore, they require that you seek them out independently.

Choosing how to fund long term care, especially if you are required to self-fund your care, can be a daunting and stressful task. This is why learning what is available to you is crucial to ensuring that you receive the care you need while also finding a way in which to pay for that care. Consulting with an adviser can be a useful strategy when facing long term care costs. There are ways to maximize the assets that you may already have and a financial adviser can help you determine the best way to pay for your care.