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Charging for non-residential services (including respite)

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Understanding your needs and circumstances to help you stay as independent as possible

Before we can work out the best way forward in your situation, we'll talk to you to understand what you want and need.

Social care isn't automatically provided for free, unlike health care.  Following your Care and Support Needs Assessment, you'll be offered a financial assessment along with advice about any welfare benefits that could be available to you to help pay for your care.

How much you have to pay towards the cost depends upon your personal financial circumstances only, and doesn't include those of your partner.

Contact Adult Social Care for a discussion about the support you are looking for on 01635 503050 or email

Supporting you through an assessment

If you are unable to tell us what you need, have communication difficulties or have no-one else to support you we will arrange an independent advocate to help you through the process and share your views.

CareChoices offer ‘self funding’ advice

Further information is available on West Berkshire Council’s ‘Paying for your Care’ webpage where you will find a copy of the Charging for non-residential service (including respite) leaflet along with the Adult Social Care Charging Policy.


Will there be a charge?

Social care is not automatically provided for free, unlike health care.  Following your Care and Support Needs Assessment, if you are eligible, you will be offered a financial assessment along with advice about any welfare benefits that could be available to you to help pay for your care.

Your liability to contribute towards the cost of your service depends upon your personal financial circumstances only and will not include those of your partner.  Some people pay the standard charge for the service received, some pay the actual cost, others pay a proportion of the cost, and some make no financial contribution at all.  

 A copy of the Council’s charging policy is available on request or on the Charges for your care webpage

What makes you liable to a charge?

If you have in excess of £23,250 in capital/savings you will be charged the standard rate for all of the services you receive.

If capital/savings are held in joint names, an equal proportion will be assumed.  If you have less than £23,250 in capital/savings you can be financially assessed to calculate a reasonable contribution towards the cost of your care.

The assessment will take into account your income plus a notional income from capital/savings between £14,250 and £23,250 (£1 income for every £250 or part £250) less allowable expenses to identify an income to which the charge can be applied.

Some income can be disregarded and so we would always recommend that you engage in the financial assessment process.

Deprivation of capital

Transferring an asset out of your name does not necessarily mean that it will not be taken into account in a financial assessment.  During the financial assessment process the Council can look for evidence of deliberate or intentional deprivation of capital.  

In making decisions about deprivation of capital the Council will want to establish the reason for the transfer or disposal including why it was done when it was. We may want to see receipts or documentary evidence. We will look to see if the transaction took place at a time when care needs were being considered and consider if “gifts” were made historically and regularly.

Unlike other rules such as Income Tax, Capital Gains or Inheritance Tax, there is no limit to how far back the Council can consider possible deprivation. Similarly, tax rules surrounding gifting do not apply.

What if you don’t want to disclose your financial details?

You do not have to disclose your financial affairs however you will then have to pay the standard charge for your service.  You will also be charged an administration fee of £200 per annum that applies to anyone who pays the full cost of their support. 

Who does the financial assessment?

The Council’s Financial Assessment and Charging Officers carry out financial assessments. Your care manager will arrange for a Financial Assessment and Charging Officer to contact you. These officers will also be able to offer you advice about the welfare benefits available to you and, if necessary, help you to make any relevant claims. If you have a partner, to be able to receive full benefit advice, your partner will need to be willing to disclose their financial information.

The financial assessment

This is how we carry out an assessment and calculate the charges:

• We will ask for details of all your income and savings. Income paid to a partner that is based on your joint financial circumstances (for example Pension Credit or Income Support) must be declared.

• We will then deduct an allowance (based on rules given by the government) for your general living expenses, but we will also take into account your housing costs, including council tax, rent and mortgage payments that are not covered by benefit.

If you own your own home we will also deduct buildings insurance.

• We will then deduct any extra expenses that you have due to age, illness or disability (usually called ‘disability related expenses’ see below).

• The amount left will be the maximum amount that we will charge you each week for your non-residential care services.

• If the cost of your service is less than this amount you will only be charged the cost of your service.

What proof do we need?

When you provide details of your finances we will need to see proof of the figures that you give us. You will also need to show records of your Disability Related Expenditure.  If you do not currently have records you must keep records for future reviews of your assessment.


Disability Related Expenses

The Council has a duty to local tax payers to ensure that public funds are used appropriately. Therefore, in order to be fair and reasonable to both the person receiving support and to local Council Tax payers, careful consideration will be given to Disability Related Expenditure.

Voluntary unpaid support from family and/or friends is not a disability-related expense. Disability Related Expenditure (DRE) is any reasonable additional cost that a person incurs to meet their specific needs due to age, a medical condition or disability. 

Future reassessments

We will revise your financial assessment in April each year in line with the increases in benefits and pensions that occur at that time.  In addition to this you will be contacted every year to ensure that your charge is still correct.

All changes in the financial information used in an assessment must be notified to the Financial Assessment & Charging Team as soon as they occur as they may affect the amount that you have been assessed to pay

What to do if you think your financial assessment is incorrect

If you feel that we have not assessed you correctly please contact the Financial Assessment and Charging Team Manager on 01635 519004.

We also have an appeals process that you can use if you are unable to pay the charge we have calculated. Contact the Financial Assessment and Charging Team Manager for further information.