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Paying for care

FAQs – paying for community care


If you or someone you know has eligible adult social care needs due to illness and or disability that can be met by a community care and support service, you may have questions relating to the costs involved.

To help you we have put together these frequently asked questions and answers.

  • Will I have to pay towards the cost of my community care services

    Yes, most people have to pay toward their community care costs.

  • How much will I have to pay?

    That will depend on the outcome of your financial assessment.

  • What is a financial assessment?

    The financial assessment or means test will look at the levels of your income, capital, housing and disability expenses to work out how much you will be required to pay toward the cost of your community care services.

    The amount you are charged cannot exceed the cost of the care service(s) you receive.

    Our financial assessment and paying for community care factsheet contains more information.

  • Are my savings and investments taken into account?

    Yes, but if your capital, savings and investments total less than the Lower Capital Limit of £14,250 these will be fully disregarded and you will contribute from your income alone.

    If your capital, savings and investments total more than the Upper Capital Limit of £23,250 you will have to pay the full cost of any service/s you receive.

    Capital, savings and investments totalling between the lower and upper limits will have a tariff applied. This is £1 per week for every £250 (or part thereof). For example, capital of £16,500 will attract a tariff income of £9 per week. (£16,500 – £14,250 ÷ £250 = £9)

    Please note: If you do not want to give us your financial details, you will have to pay the full cost of any community care service/s arranged through Devon County Council.

  • How do you treat joint savings and investments?

    Any jointly held capital, savings and investments will be divided equally between you. Unless it can be proven otherwise.

    More information can be found in the Care and support statutory guidance on GOV.UK.

  • Who works out how much I have to pay?

    Devon County Council’s Client Financial Services (CFS) team is responsible for working out how much you will have to pay.

  • How do you work out how much I have to pay?

    We will contact you to go through financial assessment process via ‘Microsoft Teams’ or telephone. We will ask you questions about your weekly income, your capital, savings and investments, and housing and disability-related expenses.

    Your financial assessment is conducted in accordance with the Care and Support Statutory Guidance, The Care Act 2014.

  • Will my income be taken into account in the financial assessment?

    Yes, most pensionable income and benefits are taken fully into account in your financial assessment.

    There are a few exceptions such as earnings, PIP or DLA Mobility Allowance and War Disablement Pension, which are fully disregarded.

    Other income such as occupational pensions may be partially disregarded when made available to a spouse or partner.

    More information can be found in the Care and support statutory guidance on GOV.UK

  • Will you take my housing expenses into account?

    Yes, we will offset expenses in relation to rent or mortgage where you are legally liable, for example, rent will only be offset where you are named on the tenancy agreement. Council Tax, buildings and contents insurance along with compulsory service agreements will be subdivided by the number of adults living in the property.

  • I have costs related to my illness or disability. Will these be taken into account?

    Where costs are being incurred directly as a result of illness or disability or both that would otherwise not be incurred, we can give consideration to these within the financial assessment.

    You must be in receipt of either, Attendance Allowance (AA), Disability Living Allowance (DLA) Care Component or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Daily Living Component.

    All expenses you wish to have taken into consideration must be reasonable in their cost.

    The need for the expense must be able to be verified, this is usually via the Your Care Act Assessment undertaken by your social care assessor or social worker

    You must be able to evidence the cost, this is usually in the form of a receipt for the service or item being claimed.

  • Will I be left with any money to live off?

    Yes, after deductions for housing and disability expenses, we must also leave you with your minimum income guarantee (MIG).

  • What is a minimum income guarantee (MIG)?

    The minimum income guarantee (MIG) is the sum of money we disregard from your weekly income to meet all your basic daily living costs such as food, clothing, and standard utility costs.

    The MIG rates represent the Income Support Applicable Amounts, as published by the Department of Health and Social Care in their annual Local Government Finance Circulars.

    The MIG differs depending on your age and what type of benefits you are in receipt of.

    A person aged 25 to pension age, in receipt of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and PIP daily living component standard rate will attract a MIG of £171.75 per week (2023/24 figures)

    A person aged over pension age will attract a MIG of £214.35 per week (2023/24 figures).

    More information can be found in the Social care charging for local authorities: 2023 to 2024 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) guidance on GOV.UK.

  • What if I disagree with the outcome of my financial assessment?

    If you disagree with the outcome of your financial assessment because you think we have incorrectly calculated your charge or we have used incorrect or incomplete information, please write to us at:

    Client Financial Services
    Devon County Council
    Room 180
    County Hall
    Topsham Road
    Exeter
    EX2 4QD

    Email fairer.charging@devon.gov.uk

    What if I don’t agree with the outcome of my financial assessment?

  • How do I pay?

    Once we have worked out how much you are to pay towards your community care service(s) you will be sent a bill called a Statement of Account every 4 weeks for your assessed weekly charge.

    It is easier to pay by Direct Debit. We will send you a Direct Debit mandate to complete and return with the outcome of your financial assessment.

    If you do not want to pay by Direct Debit, other ways to pay, for example, using online banking are detailed on the reverse of the Statement of Accounts sent to you.

  • What if my financial circumstances change?

    If your financial circumstances change, please ensure you let us know immediately as this may affect how much you are required to pay.

  • When will my charge be reviewed?

    We will review your financial assessment at least once per year. When we will tell you if any changes need to be made to your assessed weekly charge.

  • I still have some questions, where can I find out more?

    If you cannot find the answers you need in our Pay towards your care and support services – what you need to know | Devon County Council webpages you can call Client Financial Services on 01392 384391. Phone lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 1.00 pm (excluding bank holidays).

    Client Financial Services
    Devon County Council
    Room 180
    County Hall
    Topsham Road
    Exeter
    EX2 4QD

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