About Care Funding
The requirement for long term care can arise at any time and for any variety of reasons, in most cases care is required as a result of the aging process, often combined with one or more medical conditions. However, the requirement for care is not just associated with the aging process, anyone may require care as a result of a disability, serious illness, a progressive medical condition, or even an accident.
Regardless of your age, there are two distinct types of care you may require – either Healthcare or Social Care.
Of course, often you will require a mixture of both types of care and that’s what leads to uncertainty about who should pay for the care you receive.
This distinction between Healthcare needs and Social Care needs is absolutely critical to the Care Funding you may be entitled to.
Healthcare is provided by the NHS and is FREE to everyone at the point of use.
Social Care is provided by the Local Authority (through Social Services) and is Means Tested, which means you may have to pay for your Social Care.
You can therefore see the importance of the distinction – Healthcare is FREE – Social Care is PAID FOR BY YOU.
In terms of funding for your care therefore, the first and most important aspect is to have your Healthcare needs assessed first.
If you have “a Primary Health Need” then your care should be paid for in FULL by the NHS.
As you can imagine, this is why there are often issues surrounding payment for care – because it’s all about money. Have a look at some of the Facts and Figures to understand just how big an issue this is and how much people are paying, often unfairly, for their care.
If the NHS can show that you don’t have primary health needs, then they can pass the responsibility for care to the Local Authority and they will have to pay for their care instead – or more often you will have to pay, subject to means testing.
This is where the fight lies in terms of who pays for your care.
Unfortunately, despite having paid Income Tax and National Insurance contributions all your life to fund the NHS, at the point that you need long term care, the NHS will, by and large, do everything in its power to deny the right to that care. This is not a political point, it’s a fact borne out by the hundreds of claims we deal with on behalf of individuals who have been wrongly assessed in terms of their healthcare needs and forced to pay for their own healthcare. What we see is the tip of the ice-berg.
The issue of “unfair assessments” has been going on for years. As far back as February 2003, the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman produced a report on “NHS Funding for Long Term Care” in response the conduct of the NHS stretching back to 1996. When this wasn’t acted on, the Ombudsmen produced another report in March 2007 on “Retrospective Continuing Care Funding and Redress” which again criticised the NHS’s approach to the funding assessment issues.
Whilst the NHS responded with the National Framework to guide Primary Care Trust’s (PCT’s) [now called Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s)] on the provision of a consistent service, with the needs of the individual at the centre, we continue to see examples day after day where the procedures haven’t been properly implemented, or not at all.
The politics of the issues however, are not really relevant to you as an individual. The issue for you is how do your circumstances affect you in terms of whether you have to pay for your care and how can you ensure that you receive Funding if you are entitled to it.
At Farley Dwek we specialise in acting for clients to ensure that their entitlement to NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding is properly assessed. Often we act on behalf of family members, who want to ensure that their relative’s entitlement to Care Funding has been properly assessed, or we act for families who believe that their relative’s have already paid for care, when they should have been entitled to NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding and are entitled to a refund of those fees, which can be reclaimed even after their relative has passed away.
To find out more about Care Funding issues, how they affect you and how you can reduce your Care Costs, we’ve produced a Care Funding Guide, which you can download from our website absolutely FREE. Just click on the FREE GUIDE link here.
If you would like to know more about how any of our Services can help you please do not hesitate to call us today on 0800 011 4136 or 0161 272 5222 or Contact Us online and we will call you back