• Advise the person and / or representative of the financial implications. Ensure co-operation with the individual and their families, making sure they have the relevant advice and information.
  • Request the financial assessment at the earliest possible point.
  • Detail all actions / discussions on the customer’s record.

This chapter will be updated in the next APPP revision in August 2020 after the new Charging Policy has been implemented.

1. Adult Care Non Residential Care Policy

This section should be read along with the Adult Care Non-residential Contributions Policy and Adult Care Scheme of Charges.

All contributions to non-residential care are being assessed in accordance with the Non-residential Adult Care Contributions Policy. The policy outlines how the customer will contribute towards service/s received.  Most people who are assessed as eligible for care services from the local authority are expected to contribute towards certain elements of care, if they are assessed as being financially able to pay. If the customer is assessed by the council through the financial assessment process as not having the ability to contribute towards their care, they will not be asked to pay. Where a person has a personal budget, the charge will be based on 100% of that personal budget. Everyone has to pay the full cost of any meals or transport.

The customer’s financial assessment will take into account:

  • any pensions they receive;
  • Income Support;
  • the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit;
  • Attendance Allowance;
  • the care component of Disability Living Allowance;
  • other social security benefits;
  • PIP Daily Living Allowance.

An amount for living costs will be deducted and then we will look at how much is left.

Any savings will be taken into account. If the customer has savings over £23,250, the person will have to pay the full cost. Savings between £14,250 and £23,250 will also be taken into account when deciding how much the person will have to pay.

The financial assessment does not take in to account:

  • any wages or salary the person may receive;
  • Mobility Allowance;
  • Mobility component of Disability Living Allowance;
  • PIP Mobility;
  • War Disability Pension;
  • War Widows Pension;
  • War Widows Supplementary Pension;
  • the Savings Credit part of Pension Credit;
  • earnings;
  • payments relating to children (e.g. child benefit, family tax credits).

We charge 100% of the actual cost for care and support. Depending on how much money the customer has and the cost of their services, they may have to pay something towards the cost of their care or they may not have to pay anything at all.

A financial assessment will be carried out to calculate the contribution to be paid by the person using services.

They will not have to sell the house they live in to pay for any non-residential services that they receive. However, if they own any other land or property, the financial assessment will take the value of this into account.

2. How Customers Pay for their Care

Contributions will start 14 days after the customer is sent the initial financial assessment form, providing their care has started.  This could include a temporary full cost charge while their form is returned and assessment undertaken.

The customer’s contribution will be collected, or will become payable, every 4 weeks according to a regular schedule. They will receive a statement every 4 weeks which shows how much is due.

Customers can pay their contributions by:

  • direct debit;
  • Allpay – payment card;
  • direct payment – from which they pay their provider directly.

3. Adult Charging Waiver Policy

There may be circumstances where contributions can be waived. Any waived contributions will be considered using the Adult Charging Waiver Policy.

The overarching aim of the Adult Care Non-Residential Contributions Policy and Adult Charging Waiver Policy is to ensure that charges are reasonable under the terms of the Care Act 2014 and demonstrably fair and consistent with the overall objectives of Adult Care.

4. Disability Related Expenditure Allowance

Also see Statement of Charges

Disability related expenditure (DRE) is the additional expense that a person incurs, specifically because they are disabled or have health problems. The local authority must take eligible expenditure into account in financial assessments to make sure that people who pay towards their care and support have enough money to live on.

They are based on the benefits the person receives and the following apply:

Benefits Claimed DRE Allowance pw
Level 1 Low Rate  Disability Living Allowance *+(DLA) £10
Level 2 Middle Rate DLA, standard Personal Independence daily living Payment (PIP), low rate Attendance Allowance (AA) £15
Level 3 High Rate DLA, enhanced PIP, High rate AA £25

If a customer feels their expenses relating to disability are higher than the banded allowance, they can appeal.  In order to appeal, the customer must provide receipts of all expenses they wish to claim.

NB: The newly assessed rate would be used even if this is lower than the original banded rate.

5. Cancelled Care and Refunded Cancelled Care

5.1 Cancelling care

Customers are required to provide 72 hours’ notice where they wish to cancel any of their planned care. This helps the council to avoid unnecessary costs and enables providers to manage capacity efficiently and make the best use of available staff.

  • the requirement to give 72 hours’ notice does not apply in the case of an emergency hospital admission;
  • should customers need to cancel homecare calls, see Cancelling Home Care Calls, Local Contacts.

5.2 Refunding cancelled care

Refunds will be managed by the Financial Assessment and Income Collection Team (FAICT) and customers should be referred to the team for further information and to request a review. However, practitioners should have a basic understanding of how refunds work to ensure they offer appropriate advice when working with customers who feel they may have over contributed to their care.

Under the Non-residential Adult Care Contributions Policy, people contribute to their annual budget on a weekly basis, paying only what they are assessed as being able to afford each week as a contribution to their annual budget.

Consequently, cancellations in care will normally only affect a person’s contribution where the amount they contribute over the course of the year is more than has been spent on care over the course of the year.

If a customer cancels any visits within the required notice period or the care provider has missed calls, the person or their representative may ask the FAICT for their contributions to be reviewed to check whether any refund is due.

When a review takes place, the cost of care for the whole year will be compared to the total annual contribution that people have paid. A refund is only due if customers have paid more than the total cost of the services they have received.

Example 1

Personal Budget is £5,200 for the year; that is £100 per week. The person’s contribution has been assessed as £40 per week. They are going away for 2 weeks and give the required 72 hours’ notice and ask for a review at the end of the year.

  • Full cost of care for the year is £5200 – £200 = £5,000.
  • Total contribution paid is £40 x 52 = £2,080.

No refund is due as the total cost of care for the year is more than their total contribution for the year.

Example 2

Personal Budget is £5,200 for the year; that is £100 per week. The person’s contribution has been assessed as £90 per week. There are three times in the year when they cancel their care for two weeks and give the required 72 hours’ notice and ask for a review at the end of the year.

  • Full cost of care for the year is £5,200 – £600 = £4,600.
  • Total contribution paid is £90 x 52 = £4,680.
  • Refund due: £80 – the amount paid over and above the total cost of care for the year.

This is because they have been assessed as being able to afford £4680 a year and the council funds the difference between what the person can afford and the total cost of their care for the year.

6. Direct Payments

Information on direct payments can be found in the Direct Payments chapter.

Direct Payments are payments made to people who request one to meet some or all of their unmet, eligible care and support needs. Direct Payments gives the person more choice and control in choosing their care support.

If the customer chooses to have a Direct Payment, practitioners should ensure they provide them with copies of the Direct Payment Easy Guide and the Direct Payment Pre Paid Card Factsheet.