H&F Council Adult Social Care - Living Independently
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Paying for support privately

Employing a personal care assistant

You may decide that you can afford to pay for help privately, if you do arrange support privately then you should remember that, regardless of your financial circumstances, you may be entitled to state disability benefits which could help to meet the costs of support at home. 

Paying a personal care assistant directly gives you greater control over the kind of care provided.  

If you employ someone to provide care and support for you, either privately or using a personal budget, you will act as their employer, which has certain practical, legal and financial implications, including:  

  • recruiting the care worker, and checking references, DBS and right to work 
  • drawing up a contract of employment and agreeing the hours of work
  • paying income tax and national insurance 
  • arranging insurance cover in case of accidents 
  • arranging alternative care whilst the personal assistant is on holiday or ill, or if they resign 
  • enrolling them in a pension scheme if they meet certain criteria. 

The Pensions Regulator has information for people who employ someone to provide care and support explaining what they need to do for the people they employ. 

Skills for Care have a website Employing Personal Assistants which has a useful toolkit of leaflets, template documents and other documents 

Which? How to employ private carers 

Home care agencies 

You can choose to book care through a home care agency. Using an agency may mean you have less control over who the carer is, and is usually more expensive, but has the advantage that the agency will take care of most of the tax paperwork and payroll, and will arrange cover if your usual assistant is not available. 

Home care agencies will provide trained care workers or, when required, nurses who can come to your home to assist with tasks such as: 

  • shopping, cleaning, laundry, ironing 
  • personal care such as washing, bathing, dressing, going to the toilet, and managing any problems with incontinence 
  • meal preparation 
  • taking medication 
  • treating ongoing health problems which require specialist nursing input (including receiving injections, changing dressings and bandages) 
  • going out in the local community 

Care workers can visit you as often as you require or you can arrange for someone to be with you 24 hours a day. 

Find home care agencies in your area 

Last updated: 14/06/2021