There are different ways to fund Mencap services.
Your local authority can pay us directly, or you can pay for your own support using a personal budget.
You can also pay for support using your own money, or funding from your family.
Finding out how much you are entitled to
The first step is to have a care and support needs assessment, this will tell you how much money you are entitled to, so that you can pay for your support.
You need to contact your local authority adult social services department to arrange a care and support needs assessment.
The assessment will be done by a social worker or care manager.
They will involve you and your family in the assessment, or an independent person on your behalf, if you choose.
The assessment will look at your individual needs, your wellbeing and any personal goals that you want to achieve.
Sometimes the assessment will look at the needs of your family and carers and find out what support and funding they may be entitled to.
You can have more control by filling in a self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ). The social worker or care manager will still need to approve it and ensure that you have covered all your needs.
Preparing for your assessment
You can ask social services to send you a copy of the assessment form, so that you know the questions you will be asked during your assessment.
In the assessment you need to be very clear about the support you need in your day-to- day life, including what problems you have daily and what your goals are.
Things you need to tell the assessor
You will need to tell the assessor:
- what sort of support you need
- how often and how much support you need
- how any of your disabilities affect you
- how you want your care and support needs to be met
- what you feel is not working at the moment in your life
- how you want to have more control over your life
- if you have bad days and you need more support
- what you would like to do if you had the right support
- what your goals are.
Be clear about your support needs
You need to be clear on your needs and goals. Some of the areas you might need support with could be:
- getting in or out of bed
- having a shower or bath
- going to the toilet
- getting washed and dressed
- looking after your money
- taking your medication
- taking part in leisure or educational activities
- going shopping
- having access to a short break – you and your family
- using assistive technology
- preparing meals
- doing household chores - such as cleaning and laundry
- socialising and maintaining relationships
- going to doctor appointments and meetings.
Following the assessment, your local authority must decide if you are eligible for care and support.
Under the Care Act 2014, all local authorities have to follow a set of criteria to decide who is entitled to support. Where you live does not impact how much money you are entitled to.
Choosing how to pay for your support
Once you know how much funding you are entitled to, you can choose how you use it:
- Your local authority can look after the money on your behalf and choose a support provider for you.
- If Mencap is approved by your local authority, you can choose us to provide your support and have your local authority pay us direct.
- You can decide to have a personal budget and choose and pay your own provider, such as Mencap.
You can also pay for extra support using your own money, in addition to your social care funding.
It might also be possible to combine two or more budgets to pay for support. You may decide to combine some of your personal budgets because you want to have peer support and share your budget with friends. This could also be useful if you want to do something with someone who has similar needs, hobbies and interests.
Once the local authority decides on your eligibility for social care funding, a care and support plan will need to be done.
Everyone’s support plan will be different because everyone is an individual and has their own personal needs and goals. You are the best judge of your own care and support needs.
You can work with your social worker or support provider, such as Mencap, to make your plan. You can involve family, carers and friends too.
Things you can put in your care and support plan
- What your needs are.
- What changes you want to make about your life.
- What you want to achieve.
- What type of care and support you need.
- How you are going to use the funding to make changes in your life.
- What services you are going to purchase.
- Any back-up arrangements and emergency support to ensure you are not left without support when you need it most.
The support plan must be agreed and signed off by your local authority. Your plan will be reviewed to ensure that your needs are still being met.
You may also be entitled to other benefits and support, such as:
- Housing benefit
- Council tax support
- Income-related employment and support allowance
- Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance – depending on your age
- Health benefits
- Carers allowance
Are you looking for advice, support, leisure groups or other learning disability services? Why not search to find out if there is a Network Partner based near you.
How to get the support you need
Contact the Learning Disability Helpline for advice and information about what support we can offer you.
Or why not take a look at our online community? This is a place for parents and family carers of people with a learning disability to share experiences, advice and support.