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Please see our coronavirus pages for the latest guidance, how services are affected, and what help is available.
Unlike health services provided by the NHS, there is a charge for most adult social care services. How much you will have to pay towards meeting the cost of your care and support will depend on your financial circumstances.
Slough Borough Council will make a charge for residential and non-residential services, and will spend all of the income raised on providing more care and support for those who need it. If the council did not charge, it would not be possible to help everyone who needs support.
This guide provides information for people going into, or considering going into, a care home. It answers the most common questions that arise about the financial implications, and explains how we will work out what you will have to pay towards the cost of meeting your care and support needs in a care home.
A care home may be a residential or a nursing home. They are privately run, and their ownership can range from an individual to a public limited company.
Care homes charge a weekly fee. We will need to complete a financial assessment to calculate how much you will have to pay towards the cost of your care. This may be the full weekly fee, or you may be entitled to some financial support from the council. This will depend on your financial circumstances. Details of how we work this out are covered in this guide.
Please note that if it is a nursing home, you will not be expected to meet the cost of the nursing part of the care, which is funded by the NHS. More information on NHS funded nursing care can be found here: NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS Funded Nursing Care.
Please note: the figures quoted are all for the financial year from April 2019 to March 2020 and are subject to change on an annual basis.
If you are no longer able to live at home, even with appropriate home care support, and you need financial help in order to go into a care home, you should contact Slough Adult Social Care.
Someone from Adult Social Care will visit you to assess your care and support needs. If you wish to have support in the assessment process, you may have someone with you, such as a relative, friend or independent advocate. If the outcome of your assessment shows that your care needs can best be met in a residential or nursing home, we can, if you wish, help you choose a suitable home.
As part of the assessment of your care and support needs, we will establish whether you have the mental capacity to manage your own finances.
If we are concerned that you do not have the mental capacity to manage your own finances, or will not have capacity to do this in the near future, then a legally authorised person will need to represent you.
If you have already appointed someone as your Finance and Property Attorney, or have a Court Appointed Deputy (or, if you receive benefits, a DWP Appointee), we will need to see evidence of this before they can act on your behalf.
If you do not have a Finance and Property Attorney, Court Appointed Deputy, or DWP Appointee, an application for Deputyship or Appointeeship will need to be made:
If there is no family member or friend able to take on the role, Slough Borough Council’s appointeeship team
can apply to represent you.
If you go into a residential or nursing home, whether this is for a short stay or permanently, we will carry out a financial assessment to calculate how much you will have to pay towards the cost of your care. You or your legal representative will be asked to complete a financial circumstances form so we can calculate this.
The rules for deciding whether you qualify for financial support, and how much you are entitled to, are laid down by central government.
You, or your representative, will be asked to provide details and evidence of your income, savings, and property on the form. Our social care charges team will assess and notify you of your financial contribution. Where appropriate, we may also ask a financial assessment and benefits officer to carry out a benefits check, and help you apply for any benefits it appears you may be entitled to claim.
If there is a delay in you providing us with all the financial information we need (for example, if you are waiting to hear from the Department for Work and Pensions), we will give you an estimate of your charge and will tell you what the actual charge is when you supply us with the final details.
It is important that the information you give us is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge. It is an offence to give information that you know to be false, in order to avoid liability for the cost of your care.
If you do not want to disclose your financial circumstances, you will be deemed to have accepted responsibility to pay the full weekly fees.
If you have more than £23,250 in savings/capital, you will be responsible for the full cost of your care. If this later reduces to £23,250, you can then apply for financial support initially from the council in whose area the care home is situated.
If your savings/capital are less than (or equal to) £23,250, we will work out how much you will have to pay towards the cost of your care. How we calculate this is explained in more detail in the section below on ‘How do we work out what you have to pay?’
The value of your home will normally be included as part of your capital. The treatment of your home is explained in more detail in the section below on ‘Your home’.
Please note: the value of your home is not taken into account, if it is planned that you will be going into the care home on a short stay basis, and that you will return to your own home in due course.
When we work out how much you will have to pay towards the cost of your care, we ensure that you keep a sum each week for your day-to-day expenses, such as toiletries, hairdressing, newspapers, and chiropody. To enable you to pay for these, the government sets an amount you should keep from your pensions/benefits. This is called the Personal Expenses Allowance. The amount is set each year by the government. It is currently £24.90 per week, with effect from April 2019. This can be increased by up to £5.75 per week for older people in receipt of the Savings Credit element of Pension Credit.
You are not required or expected to use the Personal Expenses Allowance towards the cost of your care.
Each financial assessment is based on your individual circumstances. To determine what this is, we will look at:
Most forms of savings and capital will be taken into account (but where savings/capital are jointly owned only your share will be used in the calculation), for example:
If you have less than (or equal to) £14,250 in savings/capital these will not be taken into account. If you have savings/capital over £14,250 and up to £23,250, we will add £1 to your income for every £250 you have.
The treatment of private/occupational pensions, welfare benefits, and property is explained in more detail in the following sections.
Private/occupational pensions will be treated as income and taken into account in the financial assessment of your weekly contribution, as is your state retirement pension. However, if you are part of a couple, 50% of any private or occupational pension will be disregarded, provided it is paid over to your spouse/partner who is remaining in the family home.
We may also be able to increase the amount of Personal Expenses Allowance you are allowed, so that you can pay money to your spouse/partner if there is financial hardship. To enable us to determine whether there is financial hardship, your spouse/partner will be asked to complete a separate financial circumstances form to the one you are asked to complete. Your spouse/partner does not have to provide these details, but it would not be possible to see if hardship exists if they do not.
The benefits you receive will be treated as income in your financial assessment. However, if you get the mobility part of Personal Independence Payment/Disability Living Allowance, this will be completely disregarded in your financial assessment.
Please note: some benefits change when you go into a care home, in particular:
Attendance Allowance and daily living part of Personal Independence Payment/Disability Living Allowance
Your home will normally be included as part of your capital in your financial assessment, unless you qualify for a property disregard (see below).
There are circumstances where the value of your home will be disregarded in your financial assessment:
Short stay/replacement care
Someone else lives in the property.
If someone else lives in the property, its value will be disregarded if that person is:
A relative of yours who is:
The council has some limited discretion in special circumstances to disregard the value of your home, when it considers it reasonable to do so. This power has to be balanced with the need to ensure that people with assets, are not maintained at public expense. It may be reasonable, for example, to disregard the property when a person who lives there gave up their own home some time ago to look after you, and now has nowhere else to live. Each case will be considered individually and the final decision will be made through a panel process.
If you have been assessed as needing a permanent placement in a care home, and your financial assessment shows that you would be responsible for the full weekly fees, because the value of your home means that you have more than £23,250 in savings/capital. You can then apply to have the value of your home disregarded for the first 12 weeks of the placement. This is to give you time either to sell your home, or to raise the money you need to pay for the care in other ways.
Please note: the only part of your finances disregarded is your home. All income and all other savings/capital will be included in your financial assessment.
If you sell your home during the 12-week period, the disregard will end on the date of the sale. At the end of the 12 weeks, you will become responsible for the full weekly fees.
If you wish to apply for the 12-week
property disregard, you should
complete the form your social worker
will give you and return it to:
Slough Borough Council, Social Care Charges, Observatory House, 25 Windsor Road, Slough, SL1 2EL
If you have any questions about the
12-week property disregard, please
call Social Care Charges on 01753
If you bought your home under a Right to Buy scheme, you may be registered as the joint owner if you needed help from a relative in funding the discounted purchase price. In these circumstances, you will be deemed to own at least the share of the property that represents the amount of the discount earned. For example, if your discount was 40%, you will be deemed to own at least 40% of the property and have capital of 40% of its current value.
If your home is included in your financial assessment you will be responsible for the full weekly fees.
Selling your home
You may decide that you will sell your home straight away to pay for your care. If you decide to do this, you will need to consider how to pay for your care while the sale is going through.
Deciding not to sell your home
You may decide to raise the money you need in other ways, such as renting out your home to produce more income, taking out a loan (equity release), or asking members of your family if they could contribute to the cost of your care - or a combination of these.
If your savings/capital (excluding your home) are under £23,250, you may be eligible for a Deferred Payment Agreement (DPA). For more information, see the section below on ‘Deferred Payment Agreements (DPA)’.
Everyone’s circumstances are
different, and we strongly suggest
that you and your family take
independent financial advice to
discuss the options open to you, and
to help you decide which solution
would be the most effective for you.
More information on obtaining independent financial advice.
If the council considers that you, or someone acting on your behalf, have given away some assets, for example money or your house, in order to pay less for your care, you will be treated as still owning the asset and you will be required to pay a higher rate.
Depending on the value of the asset and the remaining assets you hold, this could be the full cost. If you cannot pay these fees, the council will claim the money from the person(s) to whom you have given these assets, and legal action may be taken against yourself and the person in receipt of the assets.
Deferred Payment Agreements (DPA) are available to help people who would otherwise have to sell their home, to pay for their care in a care home.
Subject to adequate security and acceptance of the terms and conditions, we will offer a DPA if you meet all three of the following conditions:
We may also be able to offer a DPA if you are responsible for paying for your own care but wish to use the equity in your home to pay for a more expensive care home placement.
If you qualify for a DPA, you must
agree to a legal charge being placed
on your property. This will be cleared
once the amount you owe the council
is paid, usually when your home is
More information on DPAs
When you are choosing a care home, we will ensure that you have at least one option that is affordable within your personal budget (the amount required to pay for a care home place that will meet your assessed needs). However, you may choose an alternative home, including a more expensive setting, usually where a third party such as a relative or friend is willing and able to pay a top-up for the additional cost.
Where a top-up arrangement has been agreed, the council will pay the care home the full cost of the placement. We will then separately invoice the person paying the top-up for that agreed element of the fees.
The person paying the top-up must enter into a legally binding agreement to pay the top-up to the council.
We may also be able to offer a DPA if you are responsible for paying for your own care, but wish to use the equity in your home to pay for a more expensive care home place.
Care homes normally increase their fees every year, usually in April. If a top-up is being paid in respect of your placement, this may need to change when fees are increased.
Also, welfare benefits are increased each year in April, and your assessed contribution will therefore need to be recalculated annually.
If your financial circumstances change during the year, you must let us know as soon as possible. This is important to ensure you are always paying the correct amount based on your financial circumstances.
If you disagree with the financial assessment and think your contribution has been calculated incorrectly, you can ask for a review and provide any additional information to be taken into account.
For more information on requesting a review please call Social Care Charges on 01753 875748.
All information we hold about you will be treated as confidential and will only be disclosed with your consent. The information will be held in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018.