The average cost of residential care for someone paying their own way is at an all-time high. It now stands at £846 per week – or nearly £44,000 per year – according to a report in November 2017.
Meanwhile, the average length of stay in a care home is around two and a half years. It’s clear the majority of elderly people will struggle to afford long-term residential or nursing care without financial help.
Local authority care is means-tested. This means people must use up almost all of their assets, savings and income before the council pays for care. To make matters worse, most councils are now setting the amount they are willing to pay for residential care well below the level the care actually costs. Those requiring local authority support often have to ask their families to pay expensive “top up fees”. This might be the only way for them to plug the gap.
Should you be paying anything at all for care?
However, many of those struggling to pay for care are doing so unnecessarily. They simply aren’t aware that if they have severe, complex or unpredictable care requirements arising from a ‘primary health need,’ they shouldn’t have to touch their own cash. Instead, the NHS should pay through NHS Continuing Healthcare funding. This funding is NOT means tested and must cover all the costs of care.
Free care is hard to find.
There is a catch, however. Access to NHS continuing Healthcare can be difficult. The eligibility assessment process is complex and often flawed. The professionals involved may ignore or downplay evidence of care needs, fail to consult experts, and/or leave families out of the loop.
You can maximise your chances of success.
Ensuring success requires first-class knowledge of the complexities of the National Framework on NHS Continuing Healthcare. This is the “bible” that all NHS funding decisions should follow. There is also in-depth case law outlining the distinction between health and social care needs and in what circumstances the NHS should step in.
As a solicitor’s firm specialising in NHS Continuing Healthcare cases, this is daily fare at Just Caring Legal. Every day, we deliver robust, evidence-based medico-legal arguments to maximise the chances of success in NHS CHC assessments. We also negotiate with local authorities and care homes on families’ behalf over care fees and third-party top-ups.
So, are you struggling to work out how you will pay for care?
Do you think you should be paying at all? Then contact Just Caring Legal today to see how we can help you obtain the best possible outcome for all your care funding needs.