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Charging Policy for Residential Care Services for Adults


Last Updated

1. Introduction

1.1 We arrange long term, respite and short stay residential care services for people who have been assessed as being eligible for care and support in a residential or nursing home.

1.2 The Care Act brings all community care law under one all-encompassing piece of legislation and repeals almost all of the existing provisions as of 01 April 2015.

1.3 Devon County Council has a charging policy which follows Government guidelines. This takes into account a person’s individual income and savings. We use a financial assessment to work out how much a person should pay towards their residential care and support services.

1.4 The charging policy will be applied fairly to everyone and in most circumstances, you will be expected to contribute financially in part or in full to fund part or all of your residential care and support.

2.0 Personal Budgets

2.1 If you have a care and support plan, an amount of money will be identified that will be enough to meet your eligible needs. This agreed amount of money is called a Personal Budget.

3. Financial Assessment

3.1 You will be expected to pay the full cost of your residential care and support unless you can show us you cannot afford it. To do this you will need to complete a financial assessment.

3.2 We use a financial assessment (means test) to work out how much of your income is available for you to make a contribution towards the cost of your care.

3.3 Not everybody will be required to contribute the same amount to their care and support services.

3.4 The following examples describe circumstances where no contribution will be required:
• If you receive support from Intermediate Care or Reablement Services.
• If you are receiving services under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 2007
• If your care service is being provided under Continuing Health Care
(CHC) funding by the NHS.

3.5 During a financial assessment your income, savings and outgoings are taken into account and looked at against the cost of your care and support. This will help identify the contribution you are expected to make. We may ask that evidence is provided, if you refuse or choose not to be financially assessed you will be expected to pay the full cost of the services you receive.

3.6 We will always undertake a financial assessment to determine how much you should contribute, except when it is clear that you have savings in excess of the upper capital limit or you have refused to participate in the process. For 2018/19 the upper capital limit is £23,250

3.7 The upper capital limit is reviewed and confirmed by the Department of Health in April of each year

3.8 If you have savings in excess of the upper capital limit, you will be expected to meet the full cost of the care services you receive.

3.9 When we calculate your assessed contribution, we allow the sum set by the Department of Health for you to use for personal expenses. For 2018/19 the Personal Expense Allowance is £24.90.

3.10 If you have applied for a Deferred Payment Agreement, you may keep up to £144 per week of your weekly income. This is called a disposable Income Allowance, and will be reviewed and confirmed by the Department of Health in April of each year.

3.11 When your financial assessment has been completed, you will be told the weekly contribution you need to pay towards the cost of the care service you have. This is called your assessed weekly contribution which will be applied from the start of your service.

3.12 Reviews of your financial assessment will be completed in accordance with Care Act guidance. These will be conducted on a regular basis, and at least annually. The review will take into account any changes to your financial circumstances. For example, a decrease in the level of your capital resources, or an increase in the level of your pensionable income.

4. What counts as income

4.1 All State and Welfare benefits count as income. These could include:
• State Retirement Pension
• Guaranteed Pension Credit
• Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
• Income Support
• Attendance Allowance
• Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

4.2 All private income is counted as income: This could include:
o Private pensions
o Works / Occupational pensions
o Tariff income
o Any other income received on a regular basis.

5. How we work out tariff income

5.1 The tariff income calculation is based on guidance issued by the Department of Health and may be subject to change. Tariff income is meant to represent an amount a person with savings between the lower and upper capital limits should be able to contribute towards their care and support, and is not representative of any interest-earning capacity of those savings.

5.2 If you have savings between the lower and upper capital limits, we will include tariff income in our calculations.
For 2015 /16 the capital limits are:
Lower capital limit £14,250
Upper capital limit £23,250

5.3 We calculate a notional income of £1 per week for each £250 (or part thereof) of any amount between the lower and upper capital limits. For example, savings of £16,500 will attract a tariff income of £9 per week (£16,500 – £14,250 ÷ £250 = £9)

6. What counts as savings

6.1 For the purpose of a residential care financial assessment, savings can include:
o Money held in a bank, building society or post office account (50% if a joint account)
o ISAs
o Stocks and shares
o Premium Bonds
o National Savings Certificates
o Property and/or land (unless the property is subject to an automatic disregard. For example, spouse or a relative defined as disabled as per the Care Act remains in occupancy, or property is subject to a 12 week disregard)

7. Temporary (Respite or Short Stay) Residential Care

7.1 If your stay in residential care is only temporary, we will take into account any ongoing household expenses you may have while you are in the residential home. This may include mortgage, rent (net of housing benefit), council tax (net of council tax benefit), water and sewerage rates, contents and buildings insurance etc. These are called Short Stay Housing Related Expenses.

8. Deferred Payment Agreements

8.1 If you are being charged the full cost of your accommodation because your capital assets are in excess of the upper capital limit, (including the value of your property), you may wish to apply for a Deferred Payment Agreement (DPA) to help fund your care costs.

8.2 A Deferred Payment Agreement is a way of preventing you from having to sell your home during your lifetime to fund your care costs. Please refer to our separate Deferred Payment Agreement Policy and Guidance.

9. What if you are unhappy with the outcome of your financial assessment?

9.1 If you believe the result of your financial assessment is incorrect, due to inaccurate information being used, you can ask for a review of your assessed weekly contribution. Please write to:
Charging for Care Services
Devon County Council
County Hall, Room G 85
Topsham Rd

Your appeal will be acknowledged within ten working days. As soon as your appeal has been investigated, you will receive a response in writing.

Policy Details

Strategic OwnerJennie Stephens, Head Adult Care and Health  

Mary Davis, County Treasurer

Business OwnerJulian Partridge, Head or Charging for Care Services  

Keri Storey, Adult Care Operations and Health.

AuthorJames Martin Policy Officer  

Julian Partridge Head of Charging For Care Services

Date of Approval and Commencement2015
Last review dateAugust 2018
Last reviewerPaul Grimsey, Policy Manager
Changes made at last review 
Next review dateQuarter 3,  2023/24