Find information about paying for care services to keep you safe and independent at home.
Some people think that moving into a care home is the only solution. But with the right help and support, many people can live safely and independently in their own home and participate in social activities in the community. This usually costs far less than a care home and for most people is a better option.
It is important to understand that most people will have to pay something towards the cost of their care. You may be eligible to receive financial support from the council if you have savings or investments (available capital) of less than £23,250.
In most cases, we will provide you with a short period of free intense care and support in your own home first. After the first few weeks, we will review your care and support and discuss whether or not you need further long-term services.
Working out your cost for care
If you need long-term support, we will visit you to carry out a financial assessment to determine how much you will have to pay.
All financial help is based on a means-tested assessment. You can start this process by completing our online self-assessment form to find out if you will need to pay for your care.
When looking at your capital, we may use the same method as the assessment for residential care services, as outlined in the Department of Health 'Care Act 2014' document.
When the financial assessment is completed, we will talk to you about any other expenses you may have as a result of your illness or disability. These may be included when we work out how much you have available to pay towards your services.
How much you will pay
You will be asked to pay the full cost of providing the service if:
- your capital is over £23,250 (for the financial year 2021-22);
- you decide not to tell us about your financial circumstances; or
- you refuse to sign the financial assessment form.
If your capital is less than £23,250, we will look at your assessable income, the level of service you receive, any savings you have over £14,250 and any disability-related costs. (If you have savings below £14,250, they are not included when working out your charge for services.)
If you are a couple we will assess you jointly, using both you and your partner's income and savings, and as an individual, using only your income and savings.
Please be aware that you may have to wait a few weeks before your first bill is sent to you.
If you are unhappy with the financial assessment, contact your local benefits, assessments and charging team.
If your circumstances change
If your care needs, housing support needs or financial circumstances change, such as if your capital is about to fall below £23,250, contact your social care assessor or co-ordinator. We can reassess how much you pay and tell you if there is a change to your charges.
Your first invoices will be based on the care and support that has been planned and agreed with you and your social care assessor or co-ordinator. We sometimes have to wait for the person or company who has been asked to support you to confirm what levels of service were actually provided for you. If it turns out that the amount of support you were provided with was different, we will adjust your account as soon as possible once any difference is confirmed. By doing this we are able to provide you with an invoice in a timely manner and reduce any concerns you may have in the initial stages of paying for care and support.
We aim to send you an invoice every four weeks for the services you receive.
We will print the dates of the care you are being charged for on your invoice. You can arrange to pay by standing order or direct debit.
Direct payments - paying for your care
If you have agreed to receive a direct payment to buy your own care and support, you will be asked to open a dedicated bank account for the sole purpose of receiving the direct payment. You will also be expected to contribute towards the cost of your care and support. This amount will be calculated as part of the financial assessment process. When you are informed of the amount you have to pay, you must make arrangements to pay the assessed amount into the dedicated bank account. We will help you make this arrangement.
You will always be asked to pay for meals you receive at home, in luncheon clubs or in day care, and transport to and from day care.
Meals taken at a day centre or luncheon club cost £3.90 for a two course meal or £2.85 for the main course and £1.05 for the dessert. Transport to and from a day centre (if provided) costs £7.50 per journey up to a maximum of £40 per week. The personal laundry service, where available, costs £5.25 per load. The amount you pay for other support services will be calculated from your financial assessment.
If you receive help at home through services like Telecare, Lifeline, a warden service or because you live in a supported living scheme, we can work out the amount you can contribute towards the cost of those services through the same financial assessment process.
If your financial circumstances or housing support needs change, contact your social care assessor or co-ordinator so we can reassess how much you pay. If there is a change to your charge, your landlord or service provider will tell you.
See the housing-related support services page for more details about support services we can provide to help vulnerable people live independently.
For more information, contact your local benefits assessment and charging team: