In England, funding for learning disabilities care is available through local authorities. As a leading specialist provider of residential care and supported living services, we understand that navigating the complex landscape of funding for learning disabilities can be challenging.
At Liaise, we provide high-quality care and support to people with a wide range of support needs, empowering them to live happy and fulfilling lives. We are dedicated to providing exceptional specialist care and support for individuals with learning disabilities and their families.
Our goal is to assist you at every step of the way to help you make sense of the funding process and get the support you need. Here we provide valuable insight into the funding options available for learning disabilities care and support services and how you can access it
Who Pays for Learning Disabilities Care?
If you or someone you know has a learning disability and could use some extra support day-to-day, the first step is to get a needs assessment from your local council.
Local councils have a legal obligation to fund learning disabilities support services for individuals who are assessed as eligible for support.
Finding Out How Much You are Entitled To
To determine the amount of funding you are entitled to, you will need to request a needs assessment from your local council. The assessment will evaluate the individual’s care and support needs based on various factors, such as physical, emotional, and social needs.
The assessment will help determine the type and level of support required and the amount of funding they are eligible to receive. This funding can be used to cover the costs of various support services, such as home care, residential care, supported living and support services from a provider like Liaise.
Once the assessment is complete, you will receive a care plan that outlines the support services needed and the amount of funding the individual is eligible to receive. With this information, your family can explore different funding options, such as personal budgets and direct payments, and choose the best one that suits your needs.
The Assessment Process
The assessment process is an important step in determining the level of support and funding an individual is entitled to receive. It is usually conducted by a social worker or an assessment officer appointed by the local council.
The assessment will involve a detailed evaluation of an individual’s care and support needs, with a particular focus on their learning disabilities. The assessment will explore various aspects of an individual’s life, including their physical, emotional, and social needs.
For individuals with learning disabilities, the assessment will also consider their cognitive abilities and communication skills, as well as any sensory impairments they may have. The assessment will take into account any existing support networks and care arrangements, including the involvement of family members or caregivers.
The local council will also take into account the individual’s financial circumstances and assess their ability to contribute to the cost of their care and support. This includes any income such as disability benefits.
Many things cannot be included as income, such as:
- The mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment
- Any money paid for night-time care
- Income the individual earns from employment (so that people with disabilities are not discouraged from working)
- The income of family members
Which? Later in Life Care has a useful list of typical questions you may be asked during the assessment.
Preparing for Your Assessment
When it comes to the assessment, it’s common for family members, carers, or advocates to be present. You can request to have a family member or someone who knows your loved one well to attend the meeting with you.
It’s important that the person being assessed be given the opportunity to express their needs and preferences. They should be included in the conversation as much as possible. If the person has a communication difficulty, the assessor may involve a specialist to ensure that the person’s needs are understood and their preferences are considered.
During the assessment, it is very important to be clear about the support needs of the individual with the learning disability. Taking some time to properly prepare for the assessment may help you obtain a positive result.
Here are some tips to help your family prepare:
- You can request a copy of the assessment form, so that you know the questions that will be asked ahead of time.
- Make a list of the areas where your family member needs support. This can include things like personal care, medication management, meal preparation, and transportation.
- Provide any relevant medical or educational documentation that may support your family member’s needs.
- Be honest about your family member’s challenges and support needs. This will help ensure that they receive the appropriate level of support.
Remember that the goal of the assessment is to identify the support your family member needs to live a fulfilling and independent life. Be prepared to advocate for their needs and preferences.
Choosing How to Pay for Your Support
When it comes to paying for your support, you have several options available to you. The first is to ask your local council to hold the funds on your behalf and choose a support provider for you.
If you opt for this first option, the local council will hold the funds on your behalf and choose a support provider for you based on your assessed care and support needs. This is also known as a “managed budget” or “notional budget”. While this option can take away some of the responsibility of managing the funds and finding a support provider, it may limit your choices and control over the type and quality of support you receive.
The local council has a responsibility to ensure that the support provider they choose meets your needs and delivers high-quality care and support. However, if you have a preference for a particular support provider like Liaise, you can express your preference to the council during the assessment process.
If Liaise is approved by your local council, you can then choose us to provide your support and have the council pay us directly. This is known as a “direct payment”. This option provides greater choice and control over the support provided, allowing you to select the provider that best meets the individual’s needs.
You may be entitled to other benefits to help cover the costs of disability care and support, including:
- Council tax support
- Housing benefit
- Income-related employment and support allowance
- Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance
- Carers allowance
You can use the Gov.uk website to find more information about benefits and financial support.
Specialist Support From Liaise
Here at Liaise, our goal is to create a safe, happy and enriching environment for people with learning disabilities. We believe that with the right support in place, a full and independent life is possible for everyone.
All of our supported living and residential care homes are run by experienced and highly-skilled staff. They are dedicated to providing safe and therapeutic community-based homes where people with learning disabilities and other complex or varied needs can flourish.
We are here to support you and your family. To find out more about our high-quality residential and supported living services, contact our friendly team.
We can schedule time to discuss your loved one’s needs with one of our managers or specialist team members and provide guidance on funding options.