You may have concerns about the costs involved in getting care and support at home. But if you have been assessed as needing care, you will also be assessed to see how much you can afford to pay towards the cost of services, while still having enough money to live on.

Financial help from social services

The amount that social services departments pay towards care on your behalf varies depending on your local authority, although there are minimum requirements.

When you have an assessment, your needs will be judged to see whether you’re eligible for services under the national eligibility criteria.

if you’re found to have eligible needs the local authority has a duty to meet those needs but can charge for services.

If the council has assessed you and you need care and support, you will then be means tested to see how much you need to contribute, if anything and how much the council will pay towards it.

Personal budgets

Depending on which area you live in, you may have the option of using a personal budget to meet your needs. A personal budget aims to change the way in which services are assessed for, funded and arranged.

It gives you more control and choice over the help you receive. From April 2015, everyone now has a personal budget.

The amount of money in your personal budget depends on the needs identified in your care plan. It’s designed to allow you to arrange your care in the way you think is best, with appropriate support.

You could choose to hire a carer directly, or you might prefer social services to arrange your care for you in the traditional way.

New pension rules mean that those who employ their own carers using either their own money or money from their personal budget may now be legally obliged to contribute towards a pension for them.

Paying for your own care and support

If you’re not eligible for financial help from the council, you’ll have to fund your own care. However, you are still entitled to advice from your local services department about how best to meet your needs.