Paying for care and support in the community

Unlike the NHS, care and support is not free when you use it. All councils have to charge for care and support so that we can continue to provide it. We will always make sure that the amount you pay is affordable. We will often be able to help you with the cost.

How do we work out how much you have to pay?

Firstly, we look at the cost of your care and support. Then we look at your income and your assets (savings, shares, ISAs, etc) and work out how much of it you have available to pay. If you cannot afford to pay for all the care and support we have assessed that you need, we will help with the costs.

You can download a more detailed explanation at the bottom of this page.

Who will work out how much you have to pay?

During your assessment, we will pass your details to our team of charging assessors who will write to you to arrange a home visit.

You should be asked by the social care worker if you would like someone else (a partner, carer or friend) to be there when we visit. It is often helpful for you and the charging assessor to have someone else there.

If you want to ask an independent organisation to help you, Mind IN Salford, CAB and other organisations have advocacy services which act on your behalf and can be at meetings with you.

What will happen when the charging assessor visits me?

The charging assessor will:

  • Work out your weekly income (if you have assets, we may count these when working out your weekly income)
  • Work out your protected income (the minimum amount of money that you need each week to live on - set by the government)
  • Agree with you how much extra you spend each week because of any disability you have (it is best if you can provide some evidence of extra spending)
  • Work out how much income you have available
  • Work out how much you have to pay for your care and support and how much the council may be able to help

The charging assessor will also make sure you and your family (and your carer if you have one) are receiving all the benefits to which you are entitled.

What will the charging assessor need to see?

They will need to see full details of your income and assets. This includes things like your benefit award letters, building society passbooks, bank statements, share certificates, ISA statements, etc.

They will also need evidence of work or occupational pensions and details of any housing costs like rent, council tax or a mortgage. This will help them calculate how much you have available to use to pay for your support and identify any benefits to which you are entitled.

If you spend more on certain things because of a disability, for example extra heating, clothes or food, it will help if you can show the extra you need to spend and why.

The charging assessor will agree with you how much you will need to pay towards the cost of your care and support.

Different ways to pay

You can choose to pay by:

  • Standing order
  • Cheque (you will need to send these in with a payment card we will give you)
  • Stamps from the Post Office, which you stick on a payment card we will give you

What happens after the visit?

We will write to you to confirm how much you need to pay and how much we will be able to help you with the costs. This will include a detailed explanation of how we worked it out.

You will start paying from the first Monday after a charging assessor has visited. If your visit falls on a Monday, your charge will start from that day.

What is the minimum and maximum charge?

If we have worked out you can afford to pay something towards the cost of your care and support, the minimum charge is £3 per week.

The maximum charge we will ask you to pay is the actual cost to us of providing your support.

We will always leave you with at least your protected income.

If you do not tell us full details of your income and assets, or do not want us to visit, then we will charge you the full cost of the support you are getting.

What happens if your care and support stops temporarily?

If you do not receive your support for a full week (Monday to Sunday) or more then we will not charge you for that week.

If you are paying the full cost of your care and support, you will not have to pay for any day that we do not supply support. However, we may still charge for care and support if you give you us less than 24 hours notice that you wish to cancel.

Appealing against the decision

You can appeal against the charge we have worked out you can afford. Details about how to do this are in a letter you will get confirming how much you have to pay. You will be able to ask an advocacy organisation to help you appeal.

Changes to your finances

Any changes in your income, assets or the amount of money you spend because of your disability may change how much you can afford to pay for your care and support. You must contact us so that we can work out the new figures.

If there is less than £1 per week difference between your old and new charge, then your charge will not change.

If you are part of a couple

If you are married or living together, we can work out how much you can afford to pay, by looking at your joint finances. You will need to give us permission to do this.

How does other support affect your charge?

If you get Supporting People support, we include this in the cost when we work out your charge. Some services have a separate charge. You must still pay these.

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