Your local council will meet the cost of your care (in your own home or in a care home) on certain conditions:
- If you have less than £23,250 in England, less than £23,000 in Scotland or less than £22,000 in Wales of assets including your home. Your home may be excluded from this calculation if your partner or dependents are living in it.
- If you are assessed by the Council as needing care for your continuing safety and welfare. This assessment may not take place for some weeks. The outcome may be that you are assessed to need either a specific number of hours of domiciliary care or that you need to be referred to a care home that provides care at a price the Council can afford; this may limit your choice or require a top up from friends or family.
- If the Council does agree to meet the cost of the care of the level which it assesses that you require, the choice of the care home may be limited to those which already have a contract with the Council. If it is domiciliary care, the Council will allocate a time budget which is usually based on the cheapest rates in the area for which domiciliary care can be purchased. While you are free to choose another care home (which may be more expensive) you will have to meet any difference in weekly fees yourself.
In short: most older people needing care will not be eligible for Council funding.