Some local authorities offer a respite voucher scheme to anyone who provides un-paid care for a friend or family member.
Vouchers are issued to eligible carers in lieu of care hours, to give them a break from caring.
The local authority voucher scheme is not means tested.
Contact the Adult Social Services department of your local authority to find out if this applies in your area.
SOCIAL SERVICES FUNDING
Social Services Funding comes into effect if the person needing care has less than £23,250 in savings.
If this is the case, the first step is to ask your local Adult Social Services department to arrange a Community Care Assessment.
If the person in question is deemed eligible to receive council-supported care services, the local authority will decide a budget based upon their care needs.
The maximum hourly rate for home care services varies from one authority to another. It is unlikely to cover the full hourly cost of a quality home care service.
At this point you can either accept a basic care package from a council-contracted care provider, or you can choose to take control of your budget and top-up the hourly cost of receiving care from an agency of your choice. This route is called Direct Payments and all councils are supposed to encourage people to use it, as it allows them greater control over the services they receive.
HOW DO SAVINGS AFFECT CHARGES?
A person with savings over £23,250 will not receive any financial help.
For a person with savings between £14,250 and £23,250, £1 income for every £250 between these amounts is assumed.
Mortgage, rent, savings, expense due to disability etc. are all taken into consideration.
The amount left is their ‘available income’ and the person can be asked to contribute 65% of this towards the cost of their care.
The person in question must be able to consent to receiving Direct Payments.
They can choose how they spend their budget, so long as it is used to help them achieve their desired outcomes (and is legal and will help keep them safe). It could be spent on
An organised service from a registered provider
A personal assistant recruited directly – e.g. a neighbour/ family/ friend/ unknown person
Other services or resources which may help their individual needs.
They can then decide who will control their budget – it can be themselves, a family member or friend, or the local authority.
To find out more about Direct Payments follow this link or visit www.nhs.uk/CarersDirect You can also ask your local Right at Home office manager for advice and support.