Paying for your care
Frequently asked questions
Assessing your contribution
Q: Do I have to pay for my care services?
A: A financial assessment will be carried out to find out if you can pay a contribution towards your home care, day care, transport, or direct payment services. More information can be found on the Tower Hamlets Council website.
Q: How will you work out how much I need to pay?
A: Care homes: Your weekly income is calculated, based on your state benefits, occupational or private pensions.
We deduct your 'personal expense allowance'. This allowance is the amount the government has decided that care home residents can keep for their personal use.
The balance of your income is the amount, which you will be required to contribute towards your care.
Community-based services: Your weekly income is calculated, based on your state benefits, occupational or private pensions.
We disregard any applicable State Benefits from your income and deduct any relevant expenditure including Disability Related Expenses (DRE). We also deduct the Minimum Income Guarantee, which is the amount the government has decided that clients are entitled to for their daily living expenses.
The balance of your income will be your 'ability to pay' towards your care service.
Q: How much will I be left to live on?
A: Care homes: Clients will be left with a weekly personal expense allowance of between £24.90 and £30.65, depending on the amount of income the client receives each week.
Community-based services: Clients will be left with the Minimum Income Guarantee, currently £156.45 per week for clients below pensionable age and £194.00 per week for clients over pensionable age, from their income.
Q: Where can I receive financial advice?
A: Visit our Money and paying bills page for sources of financial advice.
How the assessment works
Q: How do I provide details of my finances?
A: Your Adult Social Care social worker will give you a financial declaration form to complete and return. You will also be asked to provide copies of bank statements and evidence of your expenditure.
Q: What income do you take into account?
Community-based services: The Savings Credit component of Pension Credit is disregarded. Any Child Benefit, Child Tax Credits, Child Allowance for Universal Credit, Carers Allowance, or any earnings are also disregarded.
Q: What expenditure do you take into account?
A: Community-based services, household expenses, rent, mortgage payments, ground rent, service charges and council tax payments are taken into account. Funeral plans are also taken into account.
Q: Will my partner’s finances be taken into account?
A: Care homes: We will deduct 50% of any occupational or private pension if your partner remains living in the community.
Community-based services: A financial assessment is only completed for the person who receives the care. If you receive Pension Credit, Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit, as a couple, we will deduct 50%. Any household expenses, ie rent, will be divided by the number of adults in the household.
Q: Will my savings be taken into account ?
A: If you have savings above the upper capital limit, currently £23,250, you will be expected to pay the full cost of your services. For community-based services, the full cost has been capped to a maximum cost of £1,000 per week.
If you have savings above the lower capital limit, currently £14,250 but below the upper limit of £23,250, you will be required to pay a notional charge from your savings, of £1 for every £250 or part thereof above £14,250. The notional amount will be included in your weekly income.
An example of the notional charge calculation is as follows:
Total savings held
Deduct lower savings limit
Balance of savings
£27.00 per week (based on £6,750 divided by £250)
Q: How will I be charged?
A: Care homes: You will receive a letter advising you of the weekly charge from the date of admission to the care home. You will receive an invoice to pay your charge monthly, in arrears.
You will be sent a Direct Debit Mandate to complete and return for the monthly charges to be taken from your bank account. Once the Direct Debit has been set up you will receive a further letter and Direct Debit schedule for the calendar monthly payments.
Community-based services: You will receive a letter confirming your weekly charge and the date that you will be charged from. You can expect to receive a four-weekly invoice in arrears.
You will be sent a Direct Debit Mandate to complete and return for the payments to be taken automatically from your bank account. Once the Direct Debit has been set up you will receive a letter and Direct Debit schedule for the future four-weekly payment dates.
Q: What happens If I do not agree with the charge?
A: Care homes: If you think that the income taken into account in your financial assessment is incorrect, contact the Financial Assessment Team to ask for a review of the assessment.
Community-based services: If you have expenditure which you feel should have been considered in the financial assessment, or if you feel the calculation is incorrect, contact the Financial Assessment Team who can arrange for a reassessment to be completed.
Q: What happens If I cannot manage my finances?
A: If you are unable to manage your finances, speak to your family or friends to arrange for somebody to take over management for you. They can apply for appointeeship with the Department of Works and Pensions so that they can receive payment of your state benefits in future.
If you do not have any family or friends who are able to deal with your finances, speak to your Adult Services Social Worker. They can refer your case to the council’s Client Financial Affairs Team who will apply for appointeeship or Court of Protection to enable them to deal with your finances on your behalf.
Q: What If my circumstances change?
A: It is important that you inform the Financial Assessment Team of any changes in your circumstances, as this may affect your charges.
Community-based services: You will not be expected to pay a charge for a period in which you are not receiving a service, for example, if you are admitted to hospital or go on holiday.
Q: Will I have to sell my property?
A: Care homes: If you own your home, the value of your property will be taken into account in the financial assessment. You will be given 12 weeks from the date of your admission to decide whether you will sell or rent your home.
Following the 12-week period, if the value of your property is to be taken into account, you will have the option of either paying the full cost of your care home placement, which you could do by selling your property, or entering the deferred payment scheme.
Community-based services: The property you live in is disregarded in the financial assessment. However, if you own an additional property, then the value of this property will be taken into account in the financial assessment.
Q: What is the deferred payment scheme?
A: This is a legal agreement where a legal charge is placed on the title deeds of your property.
The council pay the full cost of your care home fees. You pay an assessed charge from your income and the remainder of your care fees are 'deferred'. The weekly deferred amount accrues whilst you are resident in the care home and the total amount is payable to the council once the property is sold or the placement ends.
Q: What If I choose a more expensive care home?
A: If you choose to go into a more expensive care home, a member of your family will have the option of being able to pay a third-party top-up towards the extra cost incurred. They will be asked to pay the difference between the amount that the Council would pay for a care home placement and the cost of the home that you have chosen.
They will be required to complete a financial declaration form to disclose their income and expenditure so that we can assess their ability to pay the top-up.
Q: What If I do not provide the financial information you require?
A: If you fail to disclose your finances, we will assume you have accepted to pay the full cost for care services provided.