We understand that navigating the complex world of funding for autism care can be challenging. As a leading provider of specialist care and support for people with autism, we will be with your family every step of the way to help you make sense of the process.
At Liaise, we empower people with autism to live richer lives through our residential care and supported living services. Our goal here is to provide you with information on how to access the funding and financial support you need to fund the best possible care for your loved ones.
Whether you’re a parent, carer, or healthcare professional, we hope that this guide will provide you with valuable insight on the available funding for autism care and support services.
Who Pays for Autism Care?
If your loved one has autism and could benefit from residential care or supported living, you may be wondering if there is funding available to help cover the costs.
If a family is looking for private care options such as residential or supported living for someone with autism, there are several funding options available. The most common are personal budgets and direct payments from your local authority to help cover the costs of autism care and support services.
Local Authority Funding
Local authorities in England are responsible for providing social care services for people with autism, which can include things like residential care, supported living, and respite care. Everyone is entitled to request an assessment of their needs, even if they do not have a formal autism diagnosis.
The amount of funding a person receives will depend on their individual circumstances, such as their level of need and their family’s financial situation. Local authority funding is means-tested. This means that families will need to provide details of their income and assets to determine how much funding they are eligible for.
The funding package is determined following an assessment of the person’s care and support needs. Funding may cover both the accommodation and support services from a provider like Liaise.
Learn more about getting a needs assessment from your local council.
When a family is eligible for funding from their local authority for their loved one’s care and support, the authority will calculate a ‘personal budget’ to cover the costs. The local authority can then use this budget to arrange services for your loved one or you can receive the funding as a direct payment.
A personal budget is a sum of money managed by the local council. The council determines how the money is spent according to the individual’s needs. The council will conduct a ‘needs assessment’ to determine the amount of the personal budget. If you choose the personal budget, you will need to agree to a support plan that shows how and when the money will be spent.
Your personal budget from the local authority can be provided to you in the following ways:
- Direct payments are where families receive the allocated money and are able to choose and manage the support service themselves.
- An arrangement where the local authority, school, or college holds funds and commissions support outlined in the support plan.
- Third-party arrangements are when direct payments are paid to and managed by an individual or organisation on behalf of the family.
- Any combination of the above.
Direct payments are a type of personal budget where the allocated money is given directly to you or someone nominated to receive it. Rather than the local authority arranging and providing services, the family receives a direct payment to purchase and manage their own care and support services. This option provides families with the most flexibility as they can fully choose and manage the care being provided.
Joint Funding Between the Local Authority and NHS
People with ongoing or complex healthcare needs may be entitled to funding from the NHS. If a person with care needs has a Continuing Healthcare (CHC) assessment, funding for their support may be split between the Local Authority and the NHS. This funding is always dependent on the results of an assessment of the individual’s support and healthcare needs.
If following joint assessments a care package is agreed upon, the Local Authority element of the funding will cover both accommodation and support. The NHS assessment will cover the continuing healthcare needs.
Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
are benefits provided by the UK government to people with disabilities, including those with autism? In April 2013, the Personal Independence Payment replaced the DLA for most people.
These benefits are intended to help with the additional costs of living with a disability, including funding care and support needs. Individuals may also be able to claim Local Housing Allowance for rent and various benefits to help cover the cost of their support.
Here you can learn more about PIP and other benefits and financial support you can receive to cover the costs of autism care and support.
What Happens if I Don’t Agree?
If you don’t agree with the local authority’s decision about your loved one’s support needs, you can challenge the decision. This could be because you don’t agree with the local authority’s decision to not pay for your care services or you feel as if not enough support is being provided.
If you’re unhappy with a local authority’s decision relating to social care, you should first complain to the relevant local authority itself. Ask if there is an appeals process dedicated to resolving these types of issues. This can be often the quickest way to get your complaint resolved.
Use the Gov.uk website to find contact details for your local authority
Specialist Support From Liaise
Here at Liaise, we’re proud to support people who live with a range of complex conditions including autism, learning disabilities, physical support requirements and complex behavioural needs.
All of our supported living and residential care homes are run by experienced and highly-skilled staff dedicated to providing safe and therapeutic community-based homes where people with autism can flourish.
We are here to support you and your family. To find out more about our high-quality residential and supported living services, do not hesitate to contact us.
We can schedule a time to discuss your loved one’s needs with one of our managers or specialist team members and provide guidance on funding options.