This page is about paying for care you receive in your own home. If you are going into residential accommodation and need help with financial advice, visit our dedicated pages.
What is a financial assessment?
A financial assessment will help us work out how much you pay for the cost of your own care. Depending on things like savings, money you get every week, or properties that you own, you could be asked to pay for all of your care, part of it, or none of it.
How can I get a financial assessment?
Contact us and we will arrange for an assessor to meet you.
What will happen?
An assessor will visit you. They are called a Visiting Officer because they will come and visit you at home. They will look at the benefits and income you get now.
The Visiting Officer will need to see documents like bank statements, building society books, bills and any recent letters from the Department of Work and Pensions. They will let you know what documents they need to see before the visit so you can get them ready.
If you don’t want to tell anyone about how much money or savings you have, you do not have to. However, this means you have to pay for all your care.
This visit is free. You can ask a family member, friend, carer or advocate to be with you during the assessment. At the end of the assessment you’ll be asked to sign a statement listing all the information the Visiting Officer has collected to make sure nothing has been left out.
How do you work out what I have to pay?
When you apply for a financial assessment, you will automatically have a ‘set amount’. This is money you will never have to pay towards your own care. The Visiting Officer will tell you what your ‘set amount’ is, because it changes based on your age and circumstances.
When the Visiting Officer comes to your house they will see how much income you have, what bills you pay, and any medical expenses. The money you have after bills and medical needs is your ‘assessable amount’. If your ‘assessable amount’ is over £23,250 you will have to pay the full cost of any support you need.
If you live with someone as a couple, we do not look at your partner’s income or savings. We will only look at your income and outgoings. We will look at savings which are held jointly and disregard 50%.
How will I know what I have to pay?
We will write to you to let you know what the Visiting Officer has decided, and how they worked it out. If you agree with us, you’ll have to sign a document saying what you’ll pay. No money will be taken until you do.
If you do need to pay for any care, your bill starts from the date you start using care services. It’s important you get a financial assessment before you run into any debt. For more help, go to our Independent Financial Advice page.
If you need to pay for your care, you have plenty of options.
We’ll set up a prepaid card account for you.
Your direct payment as agreed in your support plan will be paid in advance straight into the account.
You can use the account to pay for services that meet your needs.
If you receive your personal budget as a direct payment on a pre-paid card account, please arrange to pay your assessed financial contribution directly into your pre-paid card account.
You can arrange to do this by setting up a payment method such as a standing order or a direct debit from your personal account. This will ensure you have sufficient funds in your pre-paid card account to pay for care as outlined in your support plan.
If you pay every four weeks, Direct Debit is an easy way to pay. You’ll get the form to set up a Direct Debit the first time we write to tell you what you need to pay.
Download a new form here. Please make sure you write your 7-digit customer reference number on the form when you fill it in.
We will let you know when we will collect your payments in a letter.
Payment cards can be used to pay with cash at many convenient locations including PayPoint, pay zone and e-pay outlets.
Get in touch with us to ask for a card. It normally takes about two weeks to arrive. The card will come with a list of places where you can pay in your area.
When you want to pay, take your statement and card to somewhere you can pay. Tell the cashier how much you’d like to pay, and keep the receipt as a record of the payment you’ve sent to us.
If you lose your card, we can send you a free replacement. It does not contain information about you or your account.
You can use one of the touchscreen payment systems within the Council House reception. To do this you need to:
- select Pay For A Service > Homecare Charges
- enter your seven digit customer reference number
- enter your name and address
- select how you want to pay – cash or card
- please ensure you keep your printed receipt.
If you have any queries or problems using the payment kiosks, please speak to a member of staff at reception.
What if I disagree with the result of my financial assessment?
You can let us know if you think we’ve got it wrong. We’ll check the information the Visiting Officer collected when they came to see you.
You must let us know within 28 days of the date of our decision letter if you’d like us to look at your claim. Write to us, and we’ll let you know what we decide within another 28 days.
How do I report a change in my circumstances?
Write to us with details of the change, which can be a change in your circumstances, in your savings, or if you develop a need for more care. We’ll let you know if anything changes in the amount you have to pay.
What if I can’t pay?
Please let us know as soon as you can if you are having trouble paying. We may be able to work out a new payment schedule with you or find another way to help. If you don’t pay and don’t tell us why, our legal team will have to contact you to recover the debt.