A number of different organisations provide advice on benefits money management, and the funding of long-term care. We have listed some below:
There is lots of information about benefits advice services on this website. This includes a list of independent organisations which provide welfare rights advice.
There is a also advice on managing your money and dealing with debt.
General Money Management Advice
The government's Money Advice Service provides information about various aspects of money management, including disability benefits, paying for care services, and financial support for carers. There is information on the website, and also a telephone advice line.
Age UK also provides information on a wide range of financial, legal and consumer issues. The local Newcastle branch of Age UK also has a free advice service which can be contacted on 0191 232 6488.
Paying for Care and Support
There are also services which can provide support specifically about paying for care. You might find this helpful if you have an income or assets which mean you would be required to make a financial contribution to services arranged by us, or be expected to pay the full cost yourself. Please see our Charging for Care and Support information for an explanation of this. This type of advice could help you to understand what options may be available to you in funding your care and support. It can also be helpful to make sustainable and affordable financial decisions early on, in order to ensure sustainability of care.
EAC First Stop Advice Line is a free, confidential and independent service. it is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and calls are free from BT phones on 0800 3777070. There is also an email contact for enquiries and a Live Chat facility. This service provides advice about state benefits and entitlements, and can outline the main types of commercial financial products of particular relevance to older people.
The Money Advice Services also provides information on different ways of paying for care and support.
Regulated Financial Advice
This is a specialist form of financial advice. Organisations providing this type of advice are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The advice provided can extend to advice about specific financial products. Be aware that these financial advisers will charge for their advice. An adviser must explain clearly to the customer how much their advice will cost.
All financial advisers are registered on the Financial Services Register. This is a public register, and we recommend that you check the registration of any adviser you plan to use. The Financial Conduct Authority also provides advice on what to ask an independent adviser. A financial adviser is required to provide a key facts document setting out information such as:
- The adviser or firm the customer is using and the services they offer.
- The products they have recommended for customers.
- The right of customers to change their mind about taking out a financial product and how long someone has to do this - the 'cooling off period'.
- The customer's right to further information or explanation if there is something they don't understand.
- How to make a complaint if the customer is not happy with the service or product provided.
- Who the firm is authorised and regulated by.
- The cost of the service and/ or product.
Newcastle City Council does not recommend or endorse individual financial advisers. However, we recognise that this type of specialist financial advice can benefit some individuals when thinking about paying for care and support. There are a number of online search sites which can assist with finding an appropriately qualified adviser.
Paying for Care is a not for profit organisation which provides information for those seeking advice and guidance on the cost of care for older people. It has a telephone advice line. The Paying for Care website also allows you to search for local financial advisers who are qualified as specialist care fee adviser.
The Society of Later Life Advisers is a not for profit organisation whose members specialise in the financial needs of older people, including long-term care funding.
Lasting Power of Attorney
You may also want to think about setting up a lasting power of attorney. This means that if a person becomes unable to make decisions about the management of their finances (if they 'lose capacity') someone will be able to step in on their behalf. However, this arrangement needs to be set up while the person is still able to make a decision. There is more information about this on the government Office of the Public Guardian website.
If a person loses capacity to make decisions about their finances, but they have not already set up a lasting power of attorney, a financial deputyship may be required. This means that someone else, perhaps a family member is appointed by the Court of Protection to manage their finances. There is more information about this on the government Office of the Public Guardian website.
Both lasting power of attorney and deputyship can also be created to encompass health and welfare decision-making. Please visit the Office of the Public Guardian website for more information.
Appointeeship allows for the management of benefits only on behalf of someone who lacks capacity to do so themselves. This can be arranged by contacting the Department for Work and Pensions.