Does the government pay for respite care?
In October 2023, the government introduced a new upper limit on the amount any adult in England will be asked to pay for eligible personal care packages over their lifetime. Read more about the government’s adult social care charging reform and how this may affect you, you may also get help from the NHS.
Whilst the government will not directly pay for your respite care costs, the new rules around adult social care costs mean that you may be eligible for financial support from your local authority if you meet certain criteria relating to your health and finances.
Your eligibility will be determined through a care assessment carried out by your local authority’s adult social care team. They will help you to determine the best type of care to meet your needs – this could be home care, long-term residential care or short-term respite care, for example – and advise whether you qualify for financial support towards your care fees.
The cost of a stay in a respite care home will depend upon several factors, including the length of your stay, and the level of care and support you need. Different respite care homes will specialise in different aspects of respite care, with some focusing on expert rehabilitation following illness or injury, and others on delivering respite care for elderly individuals who perhaps need a little support and reassurance whilst loved ones are away. Respite care breaks are also a brilliant opportunity to enjoy a relaxing change of scene, with all of your care needs taken care of.
Depending upon your circumstances, your local authority may pay 100% of your eligible respite care fees, provide you with an ‘allowance’ (either of a monetary amount or a certain number of days) which you can choose to top up yourself or advise that you need to cover the cost of your respite care in full.
If you are wholly or partially responsible for covering the cost of your respite care, it’s worth contacting your chosen respite care provider to find out if they are running any special offers or discounts which you could benefit from, to reduce your overall spend.