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Advice Through The Care Maze

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Ian Francis, Specialist Adviser

Local Authority care and funding

Social services are doing extraordinary work, but, we also know that the care system is a complex maze of red tape and badly underfunded.

  • Getting answers to the many questions you may have can be difficult, frustrating, and stressful.
  • Getting a social worker appointed, even to work out what care is needed, never mind putting a care package together, can be time-consuming.
  • Local Authority care support is means-tested, so it can be quite a shock that they will conduct a financial assessment to see how much of the care package will still need to be paid for privately.
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How we can help you

Our role is to give you clear and simple advice.

You are likely to be a relative of somebody who needs care, but we help lots of people! You might be living a hectic business or family life, or live a long way from your relatives, we are here to make your life more comfortable, be more informed, and help you get the care for your relative that's needed.

A lot of people miss out on extra money they could be getting each week.

We are here to make your life easier at such a stressful time. That's because we:

  • Understand who should be eligible for Local Authority support
  • Give advice on the care needs assessments that should be completed
  • Check whether the Local Authority have fairly assessed the financial contribution that needs to be made to the cost of care
  • Help with appeals where the assessment process was unfair
  • Provide an advocacy service, write letters, or help prepare for and attend appeal hearings
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How Local Authority care works

We are fantastic fans of the great work the Adult Social Services teams do. Yet we also know that the care system is a complex maze of red tape, so getting answers to the many questions that arise can be difficult, frustrating, and stressful.

  • Local Authority care support is means-tested, and
  • they will only support those with needs that fall within those required by law to be supported by the Local Authority to be eligible.

“Social care” is care provided to an individual that supports the tasks and activities of daily life, for example, washing and dressing, feeding, and toileting (referred to as personal care).

For many, their first experience of "social care" is needing to contact social services to ask for help, only to become frustrated with delays, confusion, red tape, and not being listened to.

Dementia is a typical example of the types of people really badly treated by the care system, but with careful advocacy a lot of support is available.

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Care Needs Assessments

There won't be any help from the Local Authority until they have completed a "Care Needs Assessment".

When the Local Authority conducts a "Care Needs Assessment", they look at how the person who needs care manages everyday activities and whether they need help to carry them out.

We can advise on whether the Local Authority has fairly conducted its assessment in accordance with the rules it must follow.

We can help during assessments to fully explain how the care that is needed really impacts on lives.

...

What if the Local Authority refuses to do an assessment?

If the Local Authority refuses to conduct a Care Needs Assessment, we would welcome a call to discuss your options.

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Financial assessments

Once the care plan has been written, but before the Local Authority will agree to fund any care, they will conduct a financial assessment (there are circumstances in which they will pay for care up until the assessment has been completed).

We know getting paperwork, filling in forms etc can be difficult for many.

So, we can guide you through:

  • Local Authority financial assessments
  • Whether the Local Authority have fairly assessed the financial contribution that needs to be made to the cost of care
  • Managing money and property as an attorney
  • Follow up with Local Authority appeals
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Means testing

The Local Authority financial assessment takes into consideration any regular income being received and any savings, investments, and property, where appropriate.

We check if the right;

  • Income
  • Savings and investments
  • Property values
  • Tariff income
  • Weekly expenses
  • Allowances

have been included, or if some of it should have been ignored or others included!

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Will I have to sell the home to pay for care?

Owning a home is one of the major reasons why people fail to qualify for Local Authority support with the cost of care.

Selling a much-loved home can be a highly emotional and difficult decision, but it is one that many people face each year to help pay for long-term care.

We are regularly asked “do I have to sell the house to pay for care?” and “will I lose my house if my partner goes into care?”

We might be able to advise on ways to avoid selling a much-loved home by understanding your financial and family situation.

The "property disregard" rules are;

  • your husband, wife, partner or former partner continues to live there, except where they were estranged since before you went into a care home
  • a relative aged 60 or over continues to live there
  • a lone parent who is the person's estranged or divorced partner continues to live there
  • a relative under 60 who is incapacitated, and receives certain disability allowances, continues to live there
  • a child under 18 for whom you are financially responsible continues to live there.

But just as importantly you might look at wider options such as deferred payment arrangements (if eligible), using your income or capital, or borrowing, to help pay for care costs. You can read more about these options here.

We can advise of these specific issues where they worry you.

What Our Clients Say

"I contacted Ian having seen him on the SOLLA website. My wife is bed-bound, yet not classed as having a "health need"! I had to get help from professional nurses visiting. It was costing a fortune!

Ian explained what help was available and we got social services involved.

We discovered my wife qualified for funding, so the nurses have since been coming, without any more costs, to look after my wife.

Talking to Ian was such relief, nothing was too much trouble.

Richard, Waddington

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What's on your mind? Let's talk...

We offer a free, no-obligation, initial telephone consultation for new clients to answer some initial questions and help you with some first steps.

After that, we will then ask if you would like to set aside more time at a good time of day for you, when we can meet in person, on video, or by phone, whichever is most convenient for you.

If you would like to use our services after our initial telephone call then we charge an hourly fee of £150, including travel time. We can also agree on a fixed fee depending on what you need.

What it means to be SOLLA accredited

As a financial planner accredited by SOLLA (the Society of Later Life Advisers), I know that the transition to elder care happens more smoothly and is often more aligned to the expectations of the individual and their family when plans are made in advance. This includes advanced planning around finances.

It’s often a surprise to people that later-life financial planning is a specialist area within the wider field of financial advice, but it is!

Clients requiring financial planning in their later life benefit from advice that is clear and concise. Such advice comes from an adviser that is suitably qualified and experienced to advise them and manage their financial planning.

This means you can work with an expert in funding care (whether for a care home or in-home care) and other later life financial matters – ensuring that money is one less thing to worry about when arranging for your own short or long-term care, or that of a parent.

We have been advising clients on long-term care, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Will writing and retirement solutions for several years now, backed up not just by professional qualifications but also by the membership of various professional bodies, most notably the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) and the Personal Finance Society.

Contact Us:

01522 788887

ian@adviceaboutcare.co.uk

Advice About Care Limited

2a Sadler Court

Lincoln

LN6 3RG

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