Charges for home care services

The London Borough of Bexley, Social Services and the Financial Assessments and Benefits (FAB) service work together to ensure that the appropriate care is provided and charges are in accordance with the government’s guidelines.

There are occasions when we will not ask you to make contributions towards the cost of care:

  • intermediate care, including reablement, which will be provided free of charge for up to six weeks
  • care and support provided to people with Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (CJD)
  • after-care services/support provided under section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983
  • any service or part of a service which the NHS is under a duty to provide including continuing healthcare and assessment of needs and care planning

In order to assess your charge, we will need to know your financial situation; we will not reveal your personal details to any third party without prior permission:

  • savings and bank accounts statements
  • National Savings Certificates
  • pay slips
  • proof of benefit entitlement
  • receipts, as listed on the disability expenditure form

It may be necessary to complete an assessment of any additional expenses because of any disability that you may have:

  • additional laundry costs
  • additional heating costs
  • care services privately arranged and paid for, as agreed on your care plan
  • other personal costs not covered by the service
  • garden maintenance

The assessment is based on your assessed care needs and carried out either at the same time as your service requirements are agreed and a financial assessment form is completed or at a later date. You will need to provide evidence of these extra costs in certain circumstances and it will be subject to review or time limited depending on the circumstances.

The assessment will not be required if you have agreed to pay the full cost of your care or have been assessed as not having to pay towards your cost of care and will not result in the Council paying you an additional sum but may reduce the amount that you have to contribute towards your cost of care.

The disability expenditure assessment is not available for the first six weeks of service if the client is receiving care as part of the reablement service.

We usually ask for payment every four weeks, ways you can pay:

  • cheque
  • online
  • telephone
  • in person
  • direct debit

You have control over how your care is provided; you can choose not only the type of care, how frequently, but also who provides it. We will advise you and arrange your care if required.

If you have an individual budget, you may still pay a contribution towards the cost of your care. This will either be the full cost or your maximum assessed contributions, whichever is smallest, if your cost is higher than your maximum contribution, we will pay the rest.

Speak to your social worker or the person that arranges your individual budget for more details.

Details of all your income, savings and expenditure are required to make a fair assessment:

We look at your assessable income and we may ask you for details of all your income. We do not count anything you earn as a result of paid work.

We calculate your income after tax and National Insurance contributions.

We then calculate your assessable savings and will ignore the first £14,250.

If you have more savings than this, we add £1 per week ‘tariff income’ for every complete or partial £250 savings you have up to  £23,250 to your income assessment. This is done to represent the amount of capital between the upper and lower levels.

We work out your charge and add this tariff income to your assessable income and this combined amount is your total assessable income.

Once complete we will look at your expenses. A person who receives care and support outside a care home will need to pay their daily living costs such as rent, food and utilities.

The charging rules ensure that you are left with enough money to meet these costs. A person is left with the minimum income guarantee as set out in the Care and Support (Charging and Assessment of Resources) Regulation 2014.

If we have taken into account any income related to a disability you may have, we will make an additional standard allowance of £27.55 a week for extra expenses that you may incur as a result of that disability.

If you incur expenses greater than £27.55 a week you will be able to request additional amounts to be taken into account, you will be asked to supply documentation to support these.

We also take account of some of your housing costs, these will include your rent or mortgage repayments and council tax.

If you are one of a couple, we will assume that half of all joint expenses are yours and will make allowances accordingly.

This assessment will provide us with a figure that will be your maximum weekly contribution towards the cost of your care, this is the most you will be asked to pay and we will not collect an assessed contribution of less than 50p.

If, during the financial assessment, we consider that you may not be claiming all the benefits to which you are entitled we will refer you to the Council's Welfare Rights Service or the Department for Work and Pensions who can help you claim.

The Welfare Rights Service offers a free benefits check. If you want to make sure that you are claiming everything that you are entitled to you can contact them directly.

Further information:

The cost of your care is worked out by multiplying the cost of the services you receive by how often you receive them:

  • for example, if each week you receive two hours of home care that costs £12.60 per hour, the weekly cost of your care will be £25.20
  • we will then charge you either the maximum assessed contribution or the full cost of your care, whichever is smaller
  • if your cost of care is £24.40 but your assessed maximum contribution is £14, we will charge you £14
  • if the cost of your care is £24.40 but your maximum assessed contribution is £30, we will charge you £24.40

If you do not wish to provide us with the information 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.

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, contact the Assessments team:

To have your charge reviewed, please contact the team in writing to explain why you think the charge should be different. We will then review your contribution using the information you have given us and inform you of our decision in writing.

You only have to start paying from the time that you start receiving care. We always aim to complete the assessment before you start receiving care so that you know in advance exactly how much you will have to contribute.

If for whatever reason we can only assess you after you started to receive care, we will still ask you to pay from the date that you start to receive care.

If you do not provide us with financial information when you start to receive care, we will assume that you have sufficient capital to pay the full cost of your care.

if you wish to have an assessment at a later date, contact the Assessments team:

Depends upon which services you want or need and is always worked out as the cost of the service you need multiplied by how often you need it.

We review our service prices each year to reflect the cost of providing that service. You will be advised of the full cost of other services if you require them.

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.

You will not necessarily have to pay the full cost of your care. This is why we need to carry out a Financial assessment for community services (PDF, 238KB).

However, if you have capital (assets) of more than £23,250, you will have to pay the full cost of the services that you receive. We do not include the value of your main home in this assessment.

If you do not think you have this amount of capital, you can apply for a financial assessment in order to see how much financial support you are eligible for.

In this assessment we work out the amount you should contribute towards the cost of your care in line with the government guidelines used by all local authorities in England.

An uplift of a client's income is carried out every April in line with the Department for Work and Pension increases.

The responsibility is on the client or the representative to advise if any information used in the assessment is incorrect. If you pay the full cost for your care because you are over the capital threshold or you agreed to pay this then we do not carry out an annual review.

You can ask for a review to be carried out any time if you feel your circumstances have now changed and would like to be financially assessed.

We also review the cost of providing services every year and you will be notified in writing of any changes to these charges.

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

We will need to know if there are changes to your income, savings or expenses and also need to know if the makeup of your household changes, this could be if you are no longer living as a couple, if a family member moved out or any other changes in your family make up.

Notify the Financial Assessments team as soon as any of the circumstances change that may affect your financial assessment so that we can make sure you are being charged the correct amount:

We assess your finances as an individual, because services are provided on an individual basis.

We will assume that joint bank accounts and assets are held in equal shares with your partner, if this is not the case we will need you to provide us with evidence of this.

If you hold an account or an asset in your own name, this will be assessed as your sole personal property unless you provide us with evidence to the contrary.

If both you and your partner are receiving care, we will still assess you as individuals. We do this because care is provided individually and you are likely to need different types of care either now or in the future, this ensures that both of your financial assessments are as fair as possible.