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Paying contributions towards care in your own home

Introduction

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 page provides information for people receiving care and support at 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 your own home.

The rules for deciding whether you qualify for financial support, and how much you are entitled to, are laid down by central government.

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.

Managing your finances

As part of the assessment of your needs for care and support, we will need to establish whether you have the capacity to manage your own finances.

If we are concerned that you do not have the 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 receivebbenefits, 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:

  • An Appointee is only responsible for managing a person’s benefits and a small and limited amount of savings. They do not manage property. They apply to the DWP for Appointeeship.
  • A Deputy is responsible for the management of a person’s financial affairs including savings, pensions and all sources of income or assets, including property and valuables. They apply to the Court of Protection for Deputyship.

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.

What services do we charge for?

Most services for care and support in your own home are subject to a charge, including:

  • Personal budgets and direct payments
  • Home care and support at home (including extra care/supported living)
  • Replacement care
  • Day centre support
  • Reablement - after the first six weeks
  • Equipment and adaptations costing over £1,000
  • Assistive technology.

What services don’t we charge for?

There are some services you will not have to pay for, including:

  • The assessment of your care needs
  • Information, advice and advocacy
  • Reablement - up to six weeks
  • Smaller pieces of equipment and adaptations, costing over £1,000, that you or your carer are assessed as needing as a community care service, and for which you are eligible.

Financial assessment of your weekly contribution

Following an assessment of your care and support needs, we will also carry out a financial assessment. This is to
calculate how much you will have to pay towards the cost of your care. You will be contacted by one of our financial assessment and benefits officers, to calculate how much you will have to pay towards the cost of your care.

You, or your representative, will be asked to provide details and evidence of your income, savings, and property. During your financial assessment it may be identified that you are eligible for additional benefits.

The financial assessment and benefits officer can carry out a benefits check to see what you are entitled to, and can help you with applying for these benefits.

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 which 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

If you do not want to disclose your financial circumstances, you will be deemed to have accepted responsibility to pay for the full weekly cost of your care and support.

Qualifying for financial support from the council

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 from the council.

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.

The value of your main home will not be taken into account.

If you are assessed as being able to afford to pay for the care and support that you need, we can still help you with planning, arranging, and managing your support if you can’t do this on your own and you don’t have anyone else to help you. We make an annual charge for arranging and managing your care and support at home. The annual charge is currently £150 per year with effect from 1 April 2019, and is reviewed annually.

How do we work out what you have to pay?

Each financial assessment is based on your individual circumstances. To determine what this is, we will look at:

Your income

  • Retirement pension
  • Private/occupational pensions
  • Welfare benefits, but not the mobility part of Personal Independence Payment/Disability Living Allowance
  • Any other form of income, but earned income will not be taken into account.

Your savings and capital

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:

  • Building society/bank accounts/post office accounts
  • ISAs
  • Bonds
  • Trust funds
  • National Savings certificates
  • Stocks and shares
  • Cash
  • Premium bonds
  • Property, buildings and land (but not the value of the property that you live in).

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 the total of your income for every £250 you
have.

Your expenditure

Some of your expenditure will be taken into account, including:

  • Disability related expenditure (see below)
  • Mortgage/rent payments
  • Ground rent/service charges
  • Council tax
  • Minimum Income Guarantee (explained below)

Disability related expenditure

If you receive at least one of the following we may be able to deduct an amount you pay from your income:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payment
  • Severe Disability Premium
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance.

The financial assessment and benefits officer may be able to take into account some of the additional costs you incur because of your disability or ill health such as: prescription costs; excessive heating or laundry costs; special dietary needs (advised by GP or dietician); purchase, hire, maintenance and insurance of any disability equipment.

Any such costs will be compared to Department of Health and Social Care guidelines and where possible we will apply these to your financial assessment.

You will need to provide receipts for this expenditure.

Minimum Income Guarantee

This is the minimum income that people can live on and is set by central government. It is based on age, disability, and marital status. This amount is disregarded from your income. If your income is below this you will not have to pay for your care.

Deprivation of assets

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. Legal action may be taken against yourself and the person in receipt of the assets.

If your financial circumstances change

Your financial assessment will be reviewed on an annual basis to take into account increases in benefits, private income, the cost of living, and changes in savings.

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.

How to make payments

You will be invoiced every four weeks in arrears. You can pay by standing order, by telephone or online banking, at your bank or in person/by cheque at MyCouncil, or by post. You need to pay your invoice in full within 14 days. Go to Pay a council invoice for details. If you are unable to make the payment within this time, you must contact us to discuss how we can help you. If you do not contact us and your payment remains unpaid, we will need to take further measures to recover the debt.

Please be aware that Direct Payments will be paid net of any contribution that you have been assessed for.

What if you are unhappy with the amount you are assessed to pay?

If you disagree with the 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. A financial assessment and benefits officer will review the calculation to verify the assessment, which will be quality assured by the officer’s line manager.

For more information on requesting a review you can call Financial Assessment and Benefits on 01753 875008.

Information about you

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.

Contact us

Online
Adult Social Care enquiries

Telephone
01753 475111 option 1