If you are assessed by Adult Social Care as having eligible needs we will allocate you a Personal Budget to meet those needs. We are entitled to ask for a contribution from you towards this Personal Budget, this is known as your Fairer Contribution. A Personal Budget is usually taken as a Direct Payment if you want to arrange personal care and/or day opportunities for yourself or as ‘commissioned care’ if you would like us to arrange these services for you.
Our Fairer Contributions policy follows Care Act guidance for calculating how much a person should contribute to their Personal Budget.
What this means
You will be offered a financial assessment to determine the sum of money you can afford to pay as a contribution towards your care which we will then ‘top up’ to meet the full cost of your Personal Budget. If you have savings of more than £23,250 then you will have to pay the full cost of meeting your care needs.
By asking for this single means tested contribution towards the full cost of your care we are ensuring that the process is fair and equitable for all users, you will not be asked to pay more than your maximum contribution irrespective of the amount of care or type of services you receive.
If you do not want a financial assessment you will be expected to contribute the full cost of your Personal Budget.
Assessment of charges
If you receive Income Support or Pension Credit Guarantee but do not get a disability benefit, you will not be asked to make a contribution, provided your savings are not more than £23,250.
All income, including disability benefits other than the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance, is considered in the assessment.
Income includes a sliding scale of contributions from any savings you have, if these are between £14,250 and £23,250. Savings below £14,250 are ignored.
We have a list of disability related expenses that will be considered when calculating your contributions towards care.
It is our duty to make sure you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to so when you receive a call from one of our visiting officers they can do a full benefit check for you.
How we implement Fairer Contributions
A visiting officer from our Financial Assessment team will come out and see you at your home at a mutually agreed time. They will carry out a financial assessment to work out what your contribution will be. They will:
- check your income and capital, and consider disability related expenses
- provide welfare benefits advice and make sure you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to
- advise you of your Fairer Contribution and confirm this in writing
Help and support
If there is a relative or friend who usually supports you, or helps you deal with your financial affairs, you can ask them to attend the appointment with you. Alternatively, we can arrange to see them separately but only if we have your permission.
Making your contributions
If you have been financially assessed to make a contribution towards your care this will be payable from the day you start to receive care.
It is important that you make every effort to meet with the visiting officer to complete your financial assessment; this will ensure you do not contribute more than you can afford to pay.
When we have received all the information needed to agree your contribution any over payment will be refunded.
How to pay
Although we calculate the Personal Budget and your contribution on a weekly basis your actual contribution will be ‘collected’ every 4 weeks.
If you receive your Personal Budget through a Direct Payment then your contribution will be deducted from the amount of money you receive every 4 weeks. You may sometimes hear this referred to as receiving your Direct Payment ‘net of contribution’. You will be expected to set up regular payments into your Direct Payment bank account to cover your contribution. For further information please refer to the information on Direct Payments.
If you receive your Personal Budget through commissioned services arranged by us we will ‘collect’ your contribution by sending you an invoice every 4 weeks which will show you all the ways you can pay.
Please note that invoice dates are set at the start of the financial year in April. Your first invoice will be for the current 4 week billing period plus any additional weeks that have elapsed since the start of your care. This means that the first invoice you receive could be for a large amount of money. When you receive this invoice you should telephone the number given to agree how to pay any arrears and how you would like to pay for your ongoing care.
Changes to your financial circumstances
If your income, savings, investments, expenses or other circumstances change you can phone the Financial Assessment team on 01202 633535 to discuss whether this will make a change to your contribution.
Cancelling your services
If you need to cancel homecare, day care or transport because of a holiday, respite or a planned hospital visit for example. then you must contact your service provider giving a minimum of 72 hours notice. Your service provider will then inform us.
It is possible that the amount you are asked to contribute could change if you have an extended period of not attending a day opportunity or do not receive your commissioned homecare. However, most people will see no change as their contribution is likely to be lower than the cost of the services they receive. For this reason we will not recalculate your contribution for any absences unless you specifically ask us to. You can do this by phoning the Adult Social Care Finance team on 01202 633601.
Failure to give 72 hours notice where it is reasonable to do so could mean that you will be required to contribute to the service.
You will not be asked to make a contribution towards services that are ‘missed’ if the reason is unavoidable or is due to unplanned hospital admittance.
For permanent changes to your care arrangements you will need to contact your Care Manager/Social Worker.
Page last updated: 13 June 2019