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eleafletWho pays if I get care at home?

You may have to pay some or all of the cost of care you get at home from your local council, depending on your income and savings. Here's how a council works out whether it is going to charge you.

Who pays if I get care at home?

Councils can charge for services they provide, but they must not take account of your financial circumstances when deciding what services you need, only when deciding what they will charge you for it.

You may have to pay some or all of the cost of home care that they arrange, depending on your income and savings. Your friends or family cannot be made to pay for your care - only the person getting the care can be charged.

Care is normally free, no matter how much money you have, if:

  • you suffer from CJD (Creuzfeldt Jacob Disease)
  • you have been detained for treatment in hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983 and you need care when you come out ('aftercare services'). You can read more about this in the Gurkha Free Legal Advice leaflet on Mental Health and your rights
  • you are getting short-term 'intermediate care'.

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Is there a limit on what my local council will pay?

Your local council is entitled to provide care as cost-effectively as possible. So if it would be better and cheaper for you to move to a care home to get the care you need, the council may want you to move. You have the right to say you don't want to move into a care home. But if you choose to stay in your own home, you may not get all the help you need and you may have to challenge the council.

If it would cost £500 a week for you to stay in a suitable care home, for example, the council may argue that it should give you care at home worth only £500, even if that wouldn't be enough for your needs.

The council would have to consider all your needs, including your psychological needs and your human rights, before it decided that it would not fund a full care package at home.

If you are unhappy with what the council has decided for you, you may be able to challenge its decision.

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What if I have health needs?

Many people need both health and community care services. The NHS will provide your healthcare free. You may have to pay for some or all of the community care services, depending on how much money you have.

But if your need for the community care services is mostly due to your ongoing health problems, then the NHS should pay for both your health and community care services as 'NHS continuing healthcare'. You should be assessed to see if you qualify for this continuing care.



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What you can do now:

  • Find out about your local council's 'needs assessments' by entering your postcode here: Find out about a needs assessment by social services
  • Get help and advice from Age UK. (the new organisation formed by AgeConcern and Help the Aged)
  • Contact your local Age UK office for a benefits check. Find your local office
  • Speak to your social worker about direct payments
  • Call the Disability and Carers Service for information on Carers Allowance on their freephone line 0800 88 22 00.  Textphone 0800 24 33 55
  • Call the National Centre for Independent Living Advice Line on 0845 026 4748
  • Get advice now by calling 08001 225 6653.

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