Adult Care, can sometimes help pay for the cost of care provided in your home which may include respite breaks for a carer, although you may have to make a contribution as well. Trained staff will carry out a financial assessment of your circumstances to work out exactly what your contribution should be; this will be calculated according to guidelines issued by the Department of Health.
The Financial Assessment for Non-residential Services
Is there an upper capital limit? Yes. If you have capital in your own right (excluding the value of the house you live in or personal possessions) and this exceeds £23,250 you will be expected to pay the full cost of your care package.
How is a financial assessment arranged? Firstly a Case Co-ordinator or Social Worker will visit you to carry out an assessment of your care needs. This will identify the amount of care that you require at home to remain independent. An Assessment Officer will then arrange to visit you, or someone acting on your behalf, to carry out a detailed financial assessment.
What Financial details will I be asked for? When the appointment is arranged you will be advised of the information that will be required. All information that you give will be treated as strictly confidential and will be kept securely. You will be asked to prepare evidence (eg pension details and bank statements) giving details of:
- Your National Insurance (NI) Number;
- Your weekly income (eg: retirement pension, private pension, Attendance Allowance, Personal Independent Payment, etc)
- Your capital (eg. Savings in a bank or building society, stocks, shares or premium bonds, etc)
- Any other property/land that you own or jointly own (please note – the property in which you are normally resident is not taken into account);
- Details of any housing-related expenditure, ie rent, mortgage, council tax;
- Details of any Disability Related Expenditure, ie money you spend because of your disability in order to maintain your independence.
What will happen during the assessment? When the Assessment Officer visits you, he/she will ask you to provide all relevant documents relating to your income, capital and housing expenditure. The Assessment Officer will also explain the purpose of Disability Related Expenditure and try to help you identify whether you have any such expenditure which should be considered in the assessment. The Assessment Officer will record your financial details on a Financial Assessment Form. When the form is complete, you will be asked to sign a declaration to confirm you have given us all relevant information and you will be sent a copy of the financial assessment form to keep.
What if I do not wish to provide this detailed financial information? It is fully appreciated that some people may not wish to divulge details of their financial situation, and there is an option for you not to provide details. If this option is taken, you will be asked to pay the full cost of your care package.
Will the financial assessment always result in a charge? Most people will be required to pay a charge, however, in some cases once all income, savings, housing related expenditure and disability related expenditure are taken into account this may result in a nil weekly contribution towards your care.
What will happen next? The Assessment Officer will ensure that the supplier of your care is informed of your weekly charge. You will then need to pay this charge direct to the supplier, and they will be able to tell you how this needs to be paid, eg by cash or cheque, monthly invoicing or direct debit arrangements.
What do I do if I am unhappy with the calculation of my contribution? Please refer in the first instance to the Assessment Officer who has deal with your charge. He/she will arrange for another officer to reconsider your assessment. If you remain dissatisfied, you can formally appeal your assessed charge with the Adult Social Care Team.
How often will my assessment be reviewed? You can request a review of your financial assessment at any time by contacting the Adult Social Care Team. Annual reviews will take place as a matter of course. You will be contacted in advance of a review being carried out.
Are all non-residential social services chargeable? Most services are chargeable, except community equipment and some interim care services. Your Case Co-ordinator or Social Worker will be able to advise you if the service being provided to you attracts a charge.
During the financial assessment, the Assessment Officer will also be able to provide advice on various benefits that you may be able to claim, if you are not already doing so. If it is identified that you may be able to claim for additional benefits, the Assessment Officer will be able to advise you on the application process.
More about the financial calculation
Details of all sources of income are taken into account. However, earnings from paid employment are totally disregarded and there are further disregards in respect of some elements of specific benefits and income types, eg income from capital derived from personal injury damages which are administered by a court.
All capital (bank, building society accounts, stocks, shares, premium bonds, etc) that you hold in your own name, or your portion of jointly owned capital will be taken into account. The first £14,250 of capital is completely disregarded, and a tariff income of £1 for every £250 or part thereof is calculated for capital over £14,250. The value of any additional property or land will also need to be taken into account, however the property in which you are normally resident is completely disregarded for charging purposes.
There is an upper capital limit of £23,250 for individuals (or £46,500 for a couple). If your capital is over this amount, you will need to pay the full cost of your care package.
Minimum Income Guarantee
In the financial assessment every individual has a Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) based on the amount used for Income Support purposes, plus an additional 25%. This personal allowance is to meet all of your normal day to day living expenses, eg food, water, fuel, insurances etc. We deduct this amount from your assessable capital.
Allowance for Housing Related Expenditure
We are able to make other allowances for the money you are required to spend on rent or mortgage, and your Council Tax.
Allowance for Disability Related Expenditure
We are able to make other allowance for the money you are required to spend on goods or services as a result of your disability.
Calculating your Charge
Once all of the above information has been collected, the following calculation is made:-
Income plus Tariff Income from Capital less Allowances including housing related expenditure and disability related expenditure = the amount of your weekly charge.
You will not be asked to pay more than the actual cost of the services being provided to you.
For information on Adult Social Care fees and charges use this link.