Arranging and paying for care needs yourself

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Help with finding the right support

If you are arranging and paying for your care yourself, we suggest you read our publication/e-book to explain all the options available to you. This publication also details all the local home care providers and residential and nursing care homes that are registered with the Care Quality Commission so you have a good choice of what's available in your area.

Surrey Information Point is our local directory of support available in the community. You can find a wide range of support from local groups and networks to help you stay independent at home, schemes to prevent loneliness and isolation, carers' support groups, finding things to do where you live, volunteering opportunities and much more.

If you wish to speak to someone about your situation one of our advisers will be happy to assist you.

It is still a good idea to contact us for an assessment of your needs. We can explain the full range of services available to you. It may be that we can help you to stay at home rather than choosing residential care.

You should also contact us for advice if your savings and assets are currently above the capital limit but may go below this while you are living in a care home or receiving home-based care. The capital limits from April 2021 are:

* £23,250 or above for residential services

* £24,500 or above for non-residential services.

We can help you find care

If you live in your own home in the community and have more than £24,500 in capital you can still ask Surrey County Council to make the arrangements for your non-residential care and support services. This does not always mean it will cost you less but the council can enter into a contract to pay the care provider on your behalf and you will need to pay the council for all of the costs incurred. If the council agrees to enter into a contract with your care provider, you will be charged a one-off administration fee of £295 to cover our costs. You will also be charged £5 for each week that the council continues to make these arrangements on your behalf.

Where a person has assets above the upper capital limit and the council has a duty to make the arrangements for residential care and support services, the council will apply an administrative fee to cover the cost of making the arrangements. The set-up fees are:

* Arrangement fee of £295*

* Annual charge of £125* payable on 1 April each year.

Help with money matters

We always recommend that you check whether you are entitled to claim welfare benefits, such as Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and Pension Credit and that you also seek financial advice when planning for long term care.

Lasting power of attorney

What would happen if you could no longer make decisions for yourself? You may want to think making a lasting power of attorney.

Are you eligible for NHS continuing healthcare payments?

Under certain circumstances you may get help from the NHS towards paying for your own care and support through continuing healthcare.

Carers' support

If you are a carer of someone who pays for their own care, there is a range of support for carers in Surrey.

Advocacy

You may benefit from an advocate who can speak on your behalf if you are unable to speak for yourself. Advocacy services in Surrey are provided by Surrey Disabled People's Partnership (SDPP) in partnership with Matrix. They will help you understand what advocacy support you are eligible to receive and will put you in touch with an advocate. If you are not eligible, you will be signposted to other services that can help you.

Independent financial advice

For many residents, it's important to have sound financial advice in order to make carefully considered plans for later life, or to help with care costs.

Such advice should be independent so you feel confident that you're getting the best advice possible. A suitably qualified financial adviser will be able to provide impartial advice and help you navigate through the complexities of care funding.

Local authorities are required to help signpost people to independent financial advice about care and support.

We cannot make a recommendation to use one particular financial adviser but we can signpost you to sources of help. We suggest you make your own choice by selecting one of the members of the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA). Please read what you can expect from them to support you.

Cost of financial advice

Most advisers will offer an initial consultation at no cost to you and without obligation.

The financial advisor must explain to you how much their advice will cost and set out charges in a clear way, ensuring you understand how much you are paying and what you are paying for.

There may be extra charges for looking after your investments or providing advice on a regular basis. If you're getting investment advice, ask your advisor if the costs include a review of your investments from time to time or if you must pay for that service separately.

When savings fall to the capital limit

If you live in a care home or receive care at home, your savings may decrease quite rapidly. In time this could bring you below the capital limit, and you may be eligible for some local authority funding.

You should inform the council of your situation at least two months before your savings drop to the upper capital limit. We will then arrange to assess your care and support needs and also carry out a financial assessment. If you have given away money or property in order to avoid paying for your care, we will need to consider whether that person may be liable for some or all of the costs.

You may find it helpful to ask for an assessment of your needs even if you are going to self-fund and make your own arrangements, This could help you to choose a care provider that will meet your needs, and may also give you an indication of how much the council would expect to pay each week should you become eligible for financial assistance in the future.

If you will be self-funding a care home placement, it is important that you understand the costs when you enter into the contract with the home and consider whether your money will last for the duration of your stay. If you run out of money and the cost of the home is more than the cost would expect to pay, you will need to find a third party to pay the difference. If there is no third party available, you may be expected to move to a cheaper care home.

Other useful resources

The Money Advice Service provides a useful beginners guide to long term care.

Age UK have compiled a range of factsheets on money, legal matters, preventing scams, debit counselling.

Your local Citizens Advice branch can help on money matters and benefits advice.