Since April 2013 everyone who is eligible for social care will recviec a personal budget. The idea is to give you more control of your care and allow you to make choices about the services that best meet your particular needs. You can either manage a budget yourself by getting direct payements or the account is managed by the council, in line with your wishes. There is also the option of budgets being placed with a third-party provider again in line with your needs and wishes.
In some cases, the local council may decide it’s in your best interests if they arrange all services directly for you.
Following the assessment, and after the council has estimated the costs of the social care and support needed, you’ll be 'means-tested' to see if you need to contribute to the cost of your support. This means the council will look at your income or savings, including income from pensions, some benefits and other assets. Your contribution will be calculated according to government guidelines and can take into account certain housing costs and disability-related spending. At the end of the assessment, you will be told how much the council will contribute to the cost of your support and how much you must contribute yourself. Some people may not need to contribute anything.
Visit GOV.UK for detailed guidance on how services can be charged for.
Personal health budgets
Personal health budgets are being introduced by the NHS to help people manage their care in a way that suits them. They have been piloted in a number of places across England and, from April 2014, anyone receiving NHS continuing healthcare will have a right to ask for a personal health budget. The ‘right to ask’ will become a ‘right to have’ from October 2014.
A personal health budget is an amount of money to support your identified health and wellbeing needs, planned and agreed between you and your local NHS team. The aim is to give people with long-term conditions and disabilities greater choice and control over the healthcare and support they receive.
Personal health budgets work in a similar way to the personal budgets that many people are already using to manage and pay for their social care.
The Low Income Scheme
If you are on a low income, you may be eligible for help with your NHS costs through the NHS Low Income Scheme. The scheme covers:
You can apply for the scheme as long as your savings or investments don’t exceed the capital limit. In England, the limit is:
- £23,250 for people who live permanently in a care home
- £16,000 for everyone else
Any help you are entitled to is also available to your partner.
Registering as a disabled person
You can register as a disabled person with your local council. Even if you are not eligible for community support services, you may get concessions such as reduced fares for public transport.
Registering will also help the local council plan their services.
For more information, contact your local council.
You may also want to register with other organisations that offer financial support and advice about specific disabilities. Find out more about how to register as disabled.