Local authority funding
for live in care

Book a care consultation

If you’re looking for live-in care either for yourself or a loved one, you are probably wondering how to go about funding it. The cost of live-in care can be high, and the funding model can seem somewhat hard to understand. 

An option that many people find they want to investigate is local authority funding. But there are often some misconceptions about such financing. Some people wrongly believe that local authority funding is freely available to everyone at any amount required. Others are under the mistaken impression that there is no local authority funding available, or they don’t know what the situation with local authority funding is for live-in care. This page will help shed some light on this topic and help point you in the right direction around local authority funding.

What is a local authority

Every person in Britain lives under a local authority. These local councils have responsibility for specific things, including services like education and some social care elements.

What form your local authority takes might differ depending on where you are, and councils have different names, so the local authority responsible for live-in care in your area might change from place to place. In most places, either the borough council, city council, or county council has responsibility for such social services. Elected councillors run local councils and are the decision-makers, but the operational work is done by paid staff. You can find details of your local council from its website or by calling them and being directed to the relevant department.

Do local authorities
fund Live-in care?

Local authorities do fund live-in care (there are exceptions), which is a step in the right direction for those concerned about the prospect of their loved ones needing care in the future. Local councils have an extensive process for administering the system and are responsible for setting up their eligibility criteria.

How does
Live-in care compare with
residential care?

One important point to note is that opting for live-in care instead of a care home could have far-reaching financial effects in terms of local authority funding. As outlined above, much local authority funding for care has a means test or similar financial test before it’s awarded. 

It’s not certain that this will be the case; however, you should ensure you do your research into whether it will apply to your loved one. It might be the case that your specific situation doesn’t entitle you to funding. Be careful to bear it in mind when deciding between live-in care and a care home because it could be helpful.

How does local authority funding for live in care work?

Seeking funding

If you need to book live-in care, you should first contact your local council and ask to speak to an official about having an assessment carried out to determine the needs of your loved one. You may have to do some digging to determine which organisation in the complex structure of local authorities is responsible for social services. You can also contact your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau if you need some further assistance.

First steps

The person assessing your loved one’s needs will ask you questions about what care is required. It’s a good idea to have all the relevant information to hand. That way, you’ll be able to answer any questions that the assessor has for you and prevent any misunderstandings. If you need help, you could ask your loved one’s primary care team to assist you in putting these documents together for further clarity.

Second strand

The eligibility criteria are based mainly on the nature of the need and are often split into a four-tiered system. “Critical” care labels are, of course, only given to those who need care the most, while “substantial”, “moderate”, and “low” are the other options showing that the patient is less in need than someone of a “Crucial” status. This assessment will be combined with a look at your loved one’s financial situation.

Contacting your authority

When combined, all this information is used to judge what sort of financial award the local authority can make. In some cases, the test will indicate that the person should cover all their care costs. Sometimes, the local authority will be able to pay it in full. On other occasions, each party will be asked to contribute to the care costs.

Direct payments

Often, you’ll be able to access what is known as “Direct Payments”. This system involves the local authority paying money to your loved one or somebody they nominate to help them look after their affairs. That person then spends it on appropriate care provisions. It means you can have a wider range of choices and can go to the care provider that you prefer. 

Other live in care funding options

What about other care options?

When deciding about live-in care, it’s important to know about other alternatives. The main one is residential care, and the good news is that local authorities can fund residential care. However, live-in care continues to be one of the best types on the market. It allows your loved one to remain in their homes, which can positively affect mental health and dignity. It can also mean that a good relationship is built between the carer and your loved one as they share the same space.

What about other care options?

When deciding about live-in care, it’s important to know about other alternatives. The main one is residential care, and the good news is that local authorities can fund residential care. However, live-in care continues to be one of the best types on the market. It allows your loved one to remain in their homes, which can positively affect mental health and dignity. It can also mean that a good relationship is built between the carer and your loved one as they share the same space.

Overall, the local authority live-in care funding picture is mixed. Some people can access some forms of this funding, but not everyone, and it comes down to individual circumstances. It’s no wonder that there’s some confusion around local authority funding for live-in care. 

It’s a good idea to consult an expert for advice. For some people, this might be an independent financial advisor, preferably one who has some experience in care and how the care sector works. For others, the Citizens’ Advice Bureau or other sources of community-based support are available.

Provided that your advice source is legitimate, knowledgeable, and independent, it’s good to establish the options available to you. 

Need more information?

If you would like more information about live-in care and the options that are available, you can call us on 0204 5166004. Our dedicated team are on hand to answer any questions on how Lifted Care can help you or your loved ones. 

Do you have another care question?

Speak to a Care Advisor

It’s simple to get started

Get in touch

Give us a call or download the Lifted app to speak to get started

Get a free quote

Speak to our experts

Our care experts assess your loved one’s needs and together you design the support that’s right for you.

Get Lifted

We’ll match you with our Carers and get started. We’re here
to help every step of the way.

Join our community

If you would like to be a part of the Lifted Community and receive
regular Lifted updates, news and helpful care tips