Paying for care: information and advice

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1 Draft: for sharing in September 2015 Paying for care: information and advice Helping you to make informed choices about paying for care Is this leaflet for you? Many people don t know that unlike the NHS, care and support usually isn t free. In fact, 9 out of 10 people pay towards their care and support, even when it s organised through the council. This leaflet is for anyone who is paying for care and support at the moment, or is thinking about the future. Information and advice can make a difference You should always have the chance to make well-informed choices when planning how to pay for care and support, whether you have lots of savings and assets or none at all. In this leaflet we define information and advice as: Information: this is available to anyone, and tends to be broad. You might find it online, or it may be printed, or it could be given in person. It will not usually be based on your personal situation. Most information is free. Advice: can be tailored to your personal situation, and may be provided by a specialist of some type. It tends to be in person, or over the phone. You may have to pay for some types of advice. Having the right information and advice could help you manage your money better, get good quality care and support and make sure that you are getting all the right benefits and income that you re entitled to. If you re paying for residential or nursing care In East Sussex, lots of people who live in residential or nursing pay for their care from their own savings and income. If you are paying for your own residential or nursing care, or if you think you may need to in the future, you may not be sure about all the available options. It may seem simplest to pay care fees from savings or income or from selling your home, but this may not always be the best solution.

2 When the council might be able to help you If you are in residential or nursing care and you are paying for your own care, you should let the council know when your savings and capital are likely to fall below 23,250. If you have eligible care and support needs, this is usually when we will be able to help towards paying for your care. You will need to have an assessment of your needs and your finances too, if you qualify. There s more in our leaflet IL02: Paying for care and support. Alternatively, if you re thinking about moving into residential care, you might want to read our fact sheet [tbc]. You can get any of Adult Social Care s leaflets online at or contact Adult Social Care Direct on Information about paying for care The Money Advice Service is free and impartial. It has some very helpful information about paying for care, finding advice, or thinking about savings and retirement. https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/categories/care-and-disability, or contact them on Tax Help for Older People provide free, expert, personal tax advice and support for older people on low annual incomes. More details can be found on our website, or you can call their national helpline on or Citizens Advice also has helpful information about accessing and paying for care, and sources of further help including getting financial advice. Go to https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/relationships/looking-after-people/social-care-andsupport/ and https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/savings/gettingfinancial-advice/, or contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau. Pension Wise is a new government service that provides guidance on the options for accessing your pension(s), including thinking about providing for future care needs. A Pension Wise appointment may help if you are 50 or over and have a defined

3 contribution pension pot. To make an appointment telephone or contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau. Go to https://www.pensionwise.gov.uk/ for more information. Independent financial advice Talking to a specialist independent financial adviser may help you to understand your funding options, and make the right choices at the right time, especially if you re thinking about paying for long-term care and support. You could find advice from an independent adviser helpful if you: Already live in a care home and you re paying for care from your income and savings Are acting as a power of attorney and looking after someone else s financial affairs in any of the above circumstances Think you are likely to need care and support in the future: for example, if you have a long term condition like Multiple Sclerosis Choosing an independent financial adviser There are lots of independent financial advisers out there, and it seem difficult to work out who is right for you. As well as making sure that you use someone who is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority, you might want to consider: Someone accredited with the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA). SOLLA-registered financial advisers a training and accreditation process, and are specialists in planning ahead for later life even if you re still young. You can find a list of accredited advisers on or you can contact them on Independent financial advice covers lots of different areas, and an adviser who specialises in care fees may understand more about the situation that you re in, and will be able to offer more tailored advice. Most financial advisers will state if they have any specialist areas of knowledge, and you can search by this on the SOLLA website as well.

4 Restricted or unrestricted? Restricted financial advisers are usually tied to an institution for example, a bank and will be limited in the range of products that they could offer you. This means that you may not get the best offer out there, but you might want this if you know that you trust a certain bank, for example. Unrestricted financial advisers will look at all financial products that are available across the market which gives a wider choice. Beware of anything that seems too good to be true: some financial advisers work on the basis of protecting or transferring your assets. Government regulations call this intentional deprivation, and loopholes that seem to offer a way for you to save your money may cause you problems later down the line To add:something about equity release schemes? (Suggestion from Lewes CAB) Debt management and benefit advice Citizens Advice has helpful information on debt management and benefit advice alternatively call into your local bureau or call them on If your benefit query is about welfare reform we have a dedicated East Sussex helpline and website: or National help with paying for care: NHS Choices - funding your care: Money Advice Service - paying for care: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/categories/care-and-disability Consumer websites providing people with information and advice, including on managing their finances well, for example

5 National charities and/or advice services supporting people with disabilities or older people and those with expert knowledge of specific conditions (e.g. deaf blind) and their national telephone advice/help lines for example: National charities and advice services for carers, for example or Paying for Care: Helpful contacts and what to do next If you have questions, or you would like more information, contact To ask for a social care assessment or help with arranging care and support: Adult Social Care Direct: Tel: or To find independent financial advisers in your area: SOLLA:

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