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Guidance on charges for home care services

Paying towards the cost of social care for adults living at home.

The government has produced guidelines that all councils in England must follow when charging for non-residential care. These 'Fairer Charging' guidelines ensure that all councils follow the same rules so that all service users are assessed in the same way. In Bexley, Social Services and the Financial Assessments and Benefits (FAB) service work together to ensure that we provide appropriate care for you and charge you in accordance with the government's guidelines.

Q: Are there any exceptions when we do not charge?

A: There are occasions when we will not ask you to make a contribution towards the cost of your care.

Q: What information do we need?

A: In order to assess your charge, we will need to know your financial situation.

Q: Disability expenditure assessment

A: In some cases it may be necessary to complete an assessment of any additional expenses that you incur as a result of any disability that you may have.

Q: How do you pay?

A: There are many ways in which you can pay your contribution to your cost of care.

Q: Individual budgets

A: We like you to have as much control over how your care is provided as possible.

Q: How does the assessment work?

A: In order to make a fair assessment, we will need details of all your income, savings and expenditure.

Q: What happens if you do not wish to provide your financial information?

A: If you do not wish to provide us with the information we need in order to complete a full and accurate financial assessment, we will assess you as having sufficient funds to pay the full cost of your care. This means that you will be liable to pay full cost of your care. In order to show that you understand and consent to this, you should complete and sign the relevant section on the first page of the assessment form.

Q: What happens if you cannot pay?

A: If you cannot pay your assessed contribution or think we have made a mistake in your assessment, you can apply to have your contribution reassessed.

Q: When do you have to pay?

A: You only have to start paying from the time that you start receiving care.

Q: What is the full cost of your care?

A: The full cost of care varies depending upon which services you want or need.

Q: Why we charge

A: Providing adequate social care for everyone that needs it can be very expensive. In order to help meet this expense and ensure a high quality service, we charge for some of the services provided.

Q: Will you have to pay the full cost of your care?

A: You will not necessarily have to pay the full cost of your care. This is why we need to carry out a financial assessment.

Q: Will your charge change after it has been assessed?

A: We will usually review your charge every year unless you wish to pay the full cost. In most cases your charge will remain the same or go down rather than up. Your charge may also change if you start to receive more, less or different care than when you were first assessed or if your circumstances change.

Q: Your situation has changed, what should you do?

A: If your circumstances change we may need to reassess your charge to ensure that you are still being asked to contribute a fair amount.

Q: Will your partner's income be taken into account?

A: We assess your finances as an individual. We do this because services are provided on an individual basis.

Q: Feedback

A: We appreciate your feedback and your comments on the service we provide will help us to improve our service.