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Paying for services

How do local authorities charge for services?

Central Government has issued directions on how local authorities should charge for services, called “Fairer Charging”.  This page gives information on how Fairer
Charging works, you will be given more information if you are going to receive an Individual Budget and it looks as if you might be required to make a contribution towards the cost of your care. Detailed information is provided by the local authority and Central Government.

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Will I have to pay a contribution towards my care?

Some services are currently free and not subject to any contribution.  These are:

  • services to carers;
  • services in response to needs identified by some people who have long-term mental health issues and who are subject to Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983;
  • advice and assessment from adult care management;
  • aids to support independent living (this does not currently include Lifeline, which is subject to a contribution).


Everything else may be subject to your paying a contribution, and you will need to be financially assessed so that a decision can be made. A Welfare Rights Officer
will do this and they will also advise you if there are any additional benefits you could claim. You will need to make your financial details available.

You will only contribute a reasonable amount as the Fairer Charging Policy takes into account both your income/savings and your outgoings. Depending on your capital, income, benefits, expenses relating to disability etc you may not have to pay anything, you will be advised of your contribution and how to pay it.

You can of course choose to pay for all your services yourself if you wish. If you do not want to disclose your financial details you will be treated as if you are funding all your care yourself.  Your contribution will differ depending on whether or not you are going to use your Individual Budget for residential or non-residential care, because Central Government has different rules for different types of care.

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Do I have to pay for services?

This will depend on your individual circumstances.

As part of the assessment process, a welfare rights officer will undertake a financial assessment with you. Depending on your individual financial situation, you may have to contribute towards the cost of the services you receive.

The welfare rights team, who undertake the financial assessment, will also be able to ensure that you are receiving all the benefits that you are entitled to.

You can get more information from your adult care management worker. He or she can give you the local authority’s more detailed booklets on residential and non-residential charges.

You can also access more information via the two links below:

Fairer charging for non-residential care services (pdf 285kb opens in new window)

Financial Information - paying care home charges (pdf 378kb opens in new window) 

The welfare rights service is only available to people who are known to adult social care. If you wish to access this service, please read our section on accessing social care.

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How much does respite cost?

If you have capital which is more than the government’s limit of £23,250 you will have to meet the full cost the provider charges. Otherwise it will be anything up to £118.44. per week.

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When will my direct payment/personal budget be paid into my account?

When the relevant paperwork has been received we will ensure that the majority of clients receive a payment within two weeks, in some circumstances this may take a little longer.

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Will my contribution change if I move residential home?

No it will not. Just continue to pay your assessed client contribution to your new care home.

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Whom should I contact about the additional top-up payments to the residential home?

Additional top-up payments should be discussed with your care home provider. You can also discuss how these will be paid and how often.

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Will my savings/capital be taken into consideration?

If you have between £14,250 and £23,250 in capital/savings you will be required to make a contribution from this. If your capital/savings are over £23,250 you will be required to pay the actual cost of your service.

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How long will I have to wait for my financial assessment?

A welfare rights officer will contact you with regard to completing the financial form. Once assessments and payments receive the completed form, they will endeavour to complete your financial assessment within seven days.

Further information about the financial assessment can be found on the choosing services page.

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Should I stop paying invoices if I have not received my usual amount of home care services?

No, you should continue to pay the invoices but you can reduce the payment by the amount of the service you have missed.

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Will I get a credit if I do not receive my usual amount of home/day care services?

If you have given the relevant notice to your provider and if the cost of the services which you have received is less than your client contribution, you will receive a credit.

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Whom do I need to contact to change or stop my home care package?

You need to inform your care provider and your care co-ordinator. You can also inform assessments and payments as this may ensure that you receive any credits more swiftly. You can contact the customer service centre who will put you through to the appropriate team on (01482) 393939.

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Whom should I inform if I wish to cancel a home care call?

You need to inform your care provider and your care co-ordinator. You can also inform assessments and payments as this may ensure that you receive any credits quicker.

You can contact the customer service centre who will put you through to the appropriate team on (01482) 393939.

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Where do I go for more information?

You can get more information on paying for care services from your adult care management worker.  He or she can give you the local authority’s more detailed booklets on residential and non-residential charges.

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