Will I have to pay for My Long Term Care?

If you, or someone you love, is approaching a time in their life when long term care is needed, it is important to understand the responsibilities associated with paying for that kind of care. With consistently escalating healthcare costs, many consumers wonder if they will qualify for any kind of financial help in paying for long term care. There are guidelines by which you could qualify for this financial assistance, but it depends on several factors. Knowing if you qualify for assistance and then how to apply for assistance can be a huge first step in learning how you will be able to afford to pay for long term care. There are hundreds of consumers who enter into the care system every week in England. It is estimated that only a fraction of these consumers are ready for the expense of their care. Knowing what will be expected of you ahead of time can eliminate any surprises when trying to get assistance in paying for your care, or the care of your loved one.

The first step in determining how you will pay for your long term care is to go through the assessment process with your local authority. If you are deemed in need of long term care, the local authority will then move on to assess your ability to pay for your own care, or at least contribute to your care. It will then make a judgment as to the amount, if any, that it will be able to contribute to you long term care. This assessment is done through a process known as a means test, which takes into account all of your assets and savings and uses these amounts in a comparison against upper and lower limits to assistance.

If you have assets that exceed the upper limits of the means test, you will not be eligible for any assistance in paying for long term care. This means that it will be your responsibility to make all arrangements for your care, though the local authority will very likely point you in the right direction.

If you have assets that fall between the limits of the means test benefits, the local authority may give you some assistance in paying for long term care. The amount of assistance they give you will depend very highly upon the total of your assets and ability to pay, along with all of your actual income.

If your assets end up falling below the lowest limit of the means test, the local authority will help you in paying for long term care. However, this often means relinquishing much, if not all, of your income to the local authority, in exchange for your long term care and a small amount for your own person spending. This personal spending is known as the Personal Expense Allowance and applies to those consumers for whom the local authority pays for all long term care expenses.

Determining how to pay for long term care can be almost as stressful as realizing that you or someone you love actually needs that kind of care. However, becoming educated on the process for applying for assistance, as well as the assessment done of all finances and health conditions, can help you to better understand how to get the biggest benefit available to you. The cost of long term care can be extensive and determining how to pay for it ahead of time can help once the actual need arises. Seeking financial advice or speaking with an independent adviser can often help in making sure that assets and income are in line with potentially receiving benefits. Every benefit helps when paying for long term care.