If you have been assessed as needing social care services, you are entitled to have a financial assessment to determine how much of the cost you can meet yourself. We will ask you to fill out a Customer Financial Statement form [PDF, 146Kb]. If you do not complete this form and provide the evidence requested, you will be charged the full cost of your service.
As part of the financial assessment, we will look at your income, including any pensions and state benefits that you receive, and any assets that you own.
Most people will have to pay a contribution to the cost of the care they receive. This contribution is calculated depending on your individual circumstances. Some people will be able to get help with the cost of their care from the council and some people will choose to fund their own care.
We strongly recommend seeking independent financial advice to make balanced and reasoned decisions.
If you have been assessed as needing an Intermediate Care service which is partly funded by the NHS and includes a therapy plan, you are not required to pay a contribution towards this short-term service for up to six weeks. This includes both care at Sir John Mason House and community reablement services
If you require support beyond six weeks we will talk with you about charges. These will be applied for services in the community or in a care home.
If you are eligible for financial support from us to fund longer term services in the community, this will be provided as a Personal Budget. The contribution you will have to make towards the cost of your care will be assessed against the full value of your Personal Budget.
The following services have separate charging arrangements:
- meals delivered to your door
- Telecare or warden call systems
- housing related support services (previously known as Supporting People services), for example, wardens.
We will (with your permission) check that you are receiving all the benefits that you are entitled to. We can also check that your spouse or partner is receiving all the correct benefits too.
If there are any additional benefits that we think you should receive, we can help you make a claim. If there are any benefits that we think you should not be receiving, or should be stopped, we will explain this to you and help you notify the relevant organisation.
We strongly advise you do this because, if not, it may result in that organisation recovering the overpaid benefits from you at a later date.
Most benefits are taken into account when completing your Customer Financial Statement, although some are not. You will get a breakdown of which benefits have been taken into account when you receive the notification of your contribution.
If you are funding your own care, you are still entitled to a free benefit check.
How will you work out my contribution?
When we calculate your contribution it will depend on whether you are still going to be living at home and receiving community based services, or whether you are going to be moving into full-time residential care.
You can find out how your contribution for community based services will be calculated by visiting our Paying for Community Based Services page.
Find out how your contribution to living in a care home will be calculated on our Paying to Live in a Care Home page.
How do I pay my assessed contribution?
For longer term community services we usually collect your contribution by standing order. We will send a mandate for you to sign and take to your bank.
If you choose to have a Direct Payment (formerly known as a cash Personal Budget) we will pay this directly to you. You can then add your assessed contribution to it. The usual method of receiving your Direct Payment is on a pre-paid card.
For residential services we will send you an invoice or you can pay the care home directly.
What can I do if I am not happy with my financial assessment?
Review your financial contribution
If you feel that the amount you have been asked to contribute is too much, you can ask us to review this. Contact the financial support team on 01724 298071 and we will ensure that the assessment is correct. We will make any changes if this is necessary.
Financial hardship assessment
After a review of your financial assessment, you may still feel that you should not have to pay your contribution. This may be because:
- you do not agree to pay
- you still think we have not got the assessment calculation correct
- you cannot afford to pay the contribution
You can request a hardship assessment, but this will only apply if the reason you do not want to pay your contribution is because you cannot afford to.
To request a hardship assessment contact 01724 298071.
Make an official complaint with the Representations Manager
f you are still not happy you can make an official complaint with the Representations Manager.
Alternatively, you can visit our Compliments, Comments and Complaints web page. You can find out more information on making an official complaint and fill out an online complaints form.
My circumstances have changed, who do I inform?
If your circumstances change you must let us know.
Paying for care - frequently asked questions
What are Disability Related Expenditure disregards?
For people who get a disability related benefit (Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment) we take into consideration any additional costs that you may have which are due to your disability. We call these Disability Related Expenditure (DRE) disregards.
You can claim a DRE if you need to buy an additional service or specialist equipment that is not provided by either the council or the health service.
There are four types of DRE:
- Looking after your home:
If you need help to maintain your home and have to pay extra costs for this service, such as extra cost of fuel for your disability.
- Looking after yourself:
If you need to look after yourself and have to pay extra costs for personal needs, such as laundry due to incontinence.
- Transport and travel needs:
If you have to pay extra for your transport needs and do not receive a mobility allowance.
- Social needs:
If you need another person's help to access services such as shops, cinema and social activities.
To claim a DRE you need to tell us about the service or equipment you have purchased and you will need to provide receipts.
The decision about whether you are eligible for a DRE is discretionary and based on your individual circumstances. We will be able to advise you which ones to claim at the time of completing your Customer Financial Statement form.
If there is a temporary break in my services, will I still be expected to pay my assessed contributions?
Yes. A personal budget allows you to flex how you spend the funding and you can carry forward credits, so we expect you to contribute for the whole time your personal budget is in place.
If there is a longer break in your services, for example due to being in a hospital or care home, your personal budget and your contribution will be suspended. You will need to inform your case worker if this applies to you.
If you do go into a care home (residential or nursing) for a longer time, it may affect your benefits. You must inform the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) of any changes.
If you have an appointee or representative acting on your behalf, they should do this for you.
Will my partner's income and savings affect my claim?
We will ignore all income belonging solely to your partner.
Some benefits such as Pension Credit or Income Support are paid to one person but are for both partners. If you are receiving these benefits, we will take half of the benefit into consideration.
We will ignore any savings held solely by your partner. If you have joint savings with your partner we will only take half of it into consideration.
When we work out the Customer Financial Statement for one member of a couple, we will ensure that the other partner is left with an appropriate amount for living expenses according to Government guidance.