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Charging for non-residential services (including respite) - Information and leaflet

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What is a Non-Residential Care Service?

• Personal care and support in a person’s own home (including the cost of two carers where these are necessary) except any reablement or enablement service

• Support to access the Community (Community Support)

• Day Care and Outreach support

• Transport

• Employment Support

• Respite care in a residential/nursing home (not exceeding 56 consecutive nights)

• All services arranged within a Direct Payment, including the cost of brokerage services provided outside the Council

• Housing support charges such as the core care charge in Extra Care Housing Schemes

 

This information is valid until end March 2020.

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 full 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. You will be offered a financial assessment and advice about Welfare Benefits that may be available to you.

Contributions will not normally be required for the cost of the Council’s assessment or administration processes for the service provided, except in the case of administration for a person with eligible needs who has assets above the upper capital limit and who has asked the Council to arrange their care and support on their behalf.

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.  You will also be charged an administration fee of £204 per annum relating to the arrangement fee your care and support.

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.  This could be for example, gifting money or transferring property or other assets.

What is deprivation of capital?

The term deprivation covers a broad range of ways in which the owner of an asset might transfer it out of his or her possession.

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.

Futher information is available on the 'Charging for non-residential services' leaflet.

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

If you do not want to undergo a full financial assessment but nonetheless want to access Council support to meet your care needs, the Council must be satisfied on the basis of evidence that you can afford and continue to afford, any charges due. You will be required to complete a financial assessment form and provide sufficient information and evidence as required above. This is called a light-touch financial assessment.

It is to your advantage to fully disclose your financial information to ensure that you are charged correctly and for the Assessment Officer to provide advice about benefit entitlement.

If you do not fully disclose your finances you will be charged the full cost of your care and support, the charges are listed at the end of the 'Charging for non-residential care services' leaflet. You will also be charged an administration fee of £204.00 per year (pro-rata) for the Council to arrange your care.

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 and proof required

This is how West Berkshire Council (WBC) 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 WBC 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.

This includes increases/decreases in income and/or benefits and pensions or capital,  changes in expenses and in the way that capital or investments are held

What to do if you think your financial assessment is incorrect

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

WBC 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.

How you will know whether you will be liable to a charge

You will be notified of the charge or that there is no charge for your service.

If there is an assessed charge this figure will represent the maximum amount that you might be required to pay in any charging week. A charging week runs from Monday to Sunday. Irrespective of the day on which your care begins, you may be required to pay your full assessed charge depending on the cost of the care.

For example you have a maximum assessed charge of £80.00 per week.

You receive 10 hours of personal care within a charging week, this support will cost the Council more than £80.00.

You will be charged your maximum weekly charge of £80.00.  If you received 2 hours of personal care, this will cost less than £80.00

You would pay the cost of 2 hours of personal care.

In this case if the amount of support increases the amount that you are charged will increase accordingly up to but not above your assessed maximum.

If you are unsure of how this will apply to you, please contact the Financial Assessment and Charging Officer dealing with your assessment.

Extra care housing support charges

The Council funds support in a number of Extra Care housing schemes in West Berkshire and residents will be financially assessed for a contribution towards the cost of the support provided in these schemes.

Alice Bye Court

 

Core care charge for on-site response service 

£27.00 per week

Community Support and personal care

£14.20 per hour

Audrey Needham House & Redwood House

 

Core care charge for on-site response service

£29.00 per week

Community Support and personal care

£17.52 per hour

Nevil Court

 

Housing related support

£16.66 per week