We work with both private funders (those who pay for their support from their own savings or income) and those who use disability or support allowances from Local Authorities.
Whilst it isn’t important to us where the money comes from, we do get asked a lot about where financial help can be found and how it all works – so in a nutshell…
Your first stop if you think you, or someone you know, needs help to cope day-to-day, is to get a needs assessment from your local council.
You will need to have this assessment before the council can recommend a service such as:
- equipment like a walking frame or personal alarm
- changes to your home such as a walk-in shower
- practical help from a paid carer and care agency
- day care for your child if either you or they are disabled
- access to day centres and lunch clubs
- moving to a care home
The needs assessment is free and anyone can ask for one.
You can find more about the assessment process at NHS-getting a needs assessment
The results of the assessment identifies what kind of care and support would help you, such as a paid carer or meals delivered to your home (Meals on Wheels).
If the assessment identifies you need help, you will then have a financial assessment (means test) to see if the council will pay towards it. This will be arranged for you.
Financial help comes in 2 forms:
- Commissioned care: the details of your support needs, taken from your assessment, are called a “package”. This is put out as a contract to organisations, such as Services for Independent Living (SIL). If we think we can give the person the best support, we apply for the ‘contract’ to deliver the care required. Your support plan is fixed and paid for directly by the local authority to the successful care agency. This is the most simply managed process.
- Direct Payments: you may choose to have the value of your support plan paid directly to yourself. This option allows for more flexibility and allows you to choose who cares for you and what care you receive. Receiving direct payments is not for everyone as you do need to account for the money, organise your own care and ensure the bills are paid. However, if you prefer to have more choice over your care and support, we can help with this. If you are interested in a Direct Payment. see our Manage my Own Care section
If you are already in receipt of a Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment, the government based benefits for people living with long term ill health or disability, this may be taken into account.
What if I'm told I don't need care?
If the needs assessment finds that you don't qualify for care and support, the council should still give you free advice about where you can get help in your community. Ask if this doesn't happen.
Herefordshire Council Adult Social Care; for advice and an assessment is 01432 260101.
Hereford Citizens Advice Bureau – 0344 826 9685