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Financial assessments

The paying for care handbook

The paying for care handbook is all about paying for social care services in Hull. It tells you about the financial assessment process and explains what you will have to pay and how to do this. You should read this booklet if you, or someone you care for, either receives or is considering support from Hull Adult Social Care. You can download a copy of the paying for care handbook using the link provided

If the local authority thinks you could benefit from a financial assessment, then someone from Hull Adult Social Care will meet with you. They will go through the information provided in the booklet.

Once they have finished talking to you about your care and support needs You will complete the assessment form. You will also be asked to sign a declaration which states that information you have given is accurate.


You can also read the following information page to get information around financial assessments


What is a Financial assessment?

Unlike NHS care, adult social care is not free and many pay a contribution towards their care and support. However, no one should go without the care and support they need because they can’t afford to pay for it.

For many people, the local authority will pay some or all of the cost. In order to determine what your contribution should be, you need to complete a financial assessment.

It is important to understand how paying for care and support works. The government sets out very clear rules about paying for care. It is important that you are not paying too much for your care and support. By understanding this process, it will make it easier for you to manage your money properly.


Getting help with care and support

If you are struggling with day to day tasks the first step will be to have a social care assessment. This is how we find out what you can do for yourself. It also looks into how your family, friends and community can help, and how adult social care could support you.

Someone from Hull City Council, such as a social worker, will talk with you about your circumstances. Together you will agree ways to meet any needs you have that you cannot meet yourself.

This social care assessment can be very helpful in working out what outcomes you want to achieve. This process can help you draw out what support you may need in order to achieve it.

Hull City Council will then work out how much the support your need will cost through a financial assessment. This will let the council know whether they need to pay for some or all of the support. This is done by looking at what money you have coming in as well as any savings you may have.

What you need to pay for and why

Some kinds of adult social care and support are free and you will never be asked to pay for them. These are - 

  • Advice and information
  • Assessment, support planning and review
  • The first six weeks of intermediate care
  • The first six weeks of Active Recovery
  • Community equipment (aids and minor adaptations costing less than £1,000)
  • Aftercare provided under section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983
  • Support to people with Creutzfeld-Jacob disease (CJD)
  • Hull City Council has also chosen to pay for all support provided to carers. Some support options, such as those offered by voluntary or charitable organisations, are also free.

Any other social care support you will have to pay for if you can afford to. This is important to bare in mind if you experience an emergency as adult social care can provide support almost immediately. However, you may be expected to pay some or all the cost.


What is included in a financial assessment if I live at home?

The financial assessment helps to work out whether you can afford to pay for your own care and support. If you can’t then it helps to determine what contributions you may have to make. This is done by considering what money you have coming in and what financial commitments you have. If you own your own home the value will not be taken into account if you live in it.

Minimum income guarantee

The government sets a ‘Minimum Income Guarantee’. This makes sure you always have a certain amount left after paying all your bills, including your care and support costs. Any contribution you are asked to make will not reduce your income below that level.

To work out what your ‘minimum income guarantee’ is, you need to add together the basic amounts you are entitled to. This includes for yourself, any children that are dependent on you and any disability premium.

The basic amount for you is - 

  •  £71.70 if you are a single person aged 18 – 25
  • £90.50 if you are a single person aged 25 – pension credit age
  • £185.45 if you are a single person over pension credit age
  • £90.50 if you are a lone parent over the age of 18
  • £71.05 if you are a member of a couple aged 18 – pension credit age
  • £141.55 if you are a member of couple over pension credit age
  • The allowance for each dependent child living with you is £82.95

The disability premium is -  

  • £39.85 if you are a single person
  • £28.35 if you are a member of a couple

Depending on the severity of your disability, you may be entitled to the enhanced disability premium which is an additional - 

  • £19.45 if you are a single person
  • £13.95 if you are a member of a couple

Any non-care related support costs such as shopping, transport and recreational activities will be deducted from your ‘minimum income guarantee’. This is in addition to the contribution you will have to make for your care and support costs.

If you are in Employment

Any money you receive though employment will not be considered as part of your financial assessment.

Disability related expenditure

During the financial assessment, we will also ask about disability related expenditure. These are expenses which you have to pay as a result of your disability or impairment. These include - 

  • payment for any community alarm system
  • costs of any specialist items needed to meet needs arising as a result of your disability. These are items that are not provided by either the local 
  • authority or the NHS. If something is offered which would meet your needs, but you choose a more expensive option. The local authority will not pay for this either directly or by accepting this as a disability related expenditure
  • day or night care for which you have an eligible need but is not being provided by either the council or the NHS
    specialist washing powders or laundry
  • additional costs for dietary needs due to illness or disability (evidence from your GP may be required)
    special clothing or footwear where this needs to be specially made or altered, or is needed due to additional wear and tear caused by the disability
  • additional costs of bedding, for example, due to incontinence
  • any heating or metered water costs which are above average, and which arise because of age, medical condition or disability
  • reasonable costs of basic garden maintenance, cleaning or domestic help, if you need it because of your disability and this can’t be provided any other way
  • purchase, maintenance and repair of disability-related equipment, including equipment or transport needed to enter or remain in work if this is not otherwise available
  • specialist internet access, for example if you are blind or partially sighted
  • reasonable transport costs which arise because of illness or disability. This includes the costs of transport to day centres, which are above the mobility component of DLA or PIP. The council will not make allowances for higher rate transport costs where a reasonable alternative is available at a lower cost. You are unable to claim any transport costs which are not considered reasonable or do not meet your care needs. For example, taking a taxi to the seaside because it’s a nice day will not be considered reasonable

If you have any disability related expenditure, this will be deducted from any contribution you are asked to make.

For example, Chloe’s contribution towards her care has been calculated at £50 a week. However, Chloe pays £20 a week on disability related expenditure. This means her total contribution she has to pay is £30 a week.

The council will not make allowances at a higher rate where a reasonable alternative is available at a lower cost. For example where incontinence pads are available on the NHS but you decided to purchase them privately

Example

Ann is a 42 year woman with MS. She is divorced and lives with her 6 year old daughter. Ann has a PIP which includes payments to meet both care and mobility needs and she works part time. For the purposes of the financial assessment, Ann’s minimum income is as follows:

Basic amount for a lone parent - £90.50

Allowance for a dependent child living with you - £82.95

Disability premium - £39.85

Total - £213.30

The local authority need to make sure that Ann is left with at least £213.30 per week. Ann also needs to keep her mobility component of her PIP and all the money she receives through her employment.

The authority will then work out how much funding is needed for her care and support needs. Any money above Ann’s minimum income grantee (plus her mobility PIP component and her wages) will be Ann’s contribution. The Authority will pay the difference and if Ann has any disability related expenses, this will be deducted from Ann’s contribution.

Capital (Savings and other assets)

If you have less than £14,250 in savings -  this will not be taken into account in the financial assessment. This means it will not affect the amount you will be asked to contribute.

If you have between £14,250 and £23,250 in savings then you will be asked to make an additional contribution. You will need to contribute £1 per week for every £250 you have in savings above £14,250. This is on top of the contributions you have to make because of your income.

The Hull City Council will pay the difference if the care costs go beyond your contribution you can make.

If you have more than £23,250 then you will need to pay for the full cost of the care and support.

What is included in a financial assessment if I live in a care home?

Care in a care home, such as residential or nursing care needs a slightly different financial assessment. This is because there are different rules for the financial assessment. This includes the fact that the value of your home may be taken into account.

The Hull City Council will still work out whether you can afford to pay for your care and support. If you cannot afford to pay for your care and support the council will look at what you can contribute. However, this time, the minimum income guarantee does not apply to people living in care homes. This is because all the day o day costs are covered by the care or nursing homes.

Instead, the government has set a ‘Personal Allowance’ at the rate of £24.90 per week. This means you will always have at least £24.90 per week after paying or contributing towards your care home.

If you do not own a property

For Savings of less than £14,250 – the financial assessment will not take your savings into account

For Savings that are between £14,250 and £23,250 - you will need to contribute £1 per week for every £250 you have above £14,250. This contribution is in addition to any contribution you are required to make though your general income.

If you do own a property

Your property is not taken into account for the first 12 weeks that you are in a care home. This is called the ‘12-week disregard’. After this period, the value of this property will usually be taken into account. This applies to property that is owned both solely or is jointly owned.

There are certain situations when the value of your property will not be taken into account. These are - 

  • If your partner still lives there
  • If a relative who is over 60, under 16 or is disabled, still lives there
  • If your stay in the care home is temporary
  • If you need to sell the property in order to pay for your care you may be able to enter into a Deferred Payment Agreement with the Council. This means that the Council will pay a portion of your care costs. They will then claim the money back once the property is sold.

You may also be able to enter into a Deferred Payment Agreement if you need to delay selling your property.

How the financial asessment is conducted?

Light touch financial assessment

The Hull City Council has tried to make the financial assessment process as easy for you as possible. For people in some situations we are able to offer a light touch financial assessment.

If you get a means-tested welfare benefit or Housing Benefit, The Council can use your details from these to work out your contribution without you having to do anything.

Telephone assessment

Sometimes the light touch assessment does not give us enough information. If this is the case, the Council will arrange a convenient time for a trained Financial Assessment Officer to complete the assessment with you. This will be done over the telephone. The Council will give you the details of the information they need to complete the financial assessment before your appointment. Having this information ahead of time and ready will make it conversation a lot quicker and easier.

Visiting assessment

If we cannot do the assessment over the phone a trained Financial Assessment Officer can visit you at home. Please note that this is only in exceptional circumstances.

If the Council need to do a home visit, they will send you a letter telling you the date and time of the visit. It will also explain what information you need to prepare in order to can complete the assessment. Having all the information ready beforehand will make the visit a lot quicker and easier.

Information needed to complete the financial assessment?

If a telephone assessment or home visit is needed, the Financial Assessment Officer will need evidence of -

  • your income (e.g. pay, pension and benefits)
  • any savings or investments you have (e.g. savings accounts, ISAs, bonds)
  • any other properties you own other than the home you live in
  • if you are planning to stay in your own home:
  • details of your usual essential spend (e.g. rent, and council tax)
  • any disability related spend
  • if you are planning to move to a care home:
  • the value of your home, if you own all or part of it

Support through the Financial assessment

If you find things like this difficult or confusing, the Council recommend that you get someone to help you. Having a friend, relative or representative may make you feel more comfortable. Here is a list of some useful organisations that can help you -

Age UK (national line)

Telephone: 08001 696 565 (Freephone)

Tavis House
1-6 Tavistock Square
London
WC1H 9NA

Visit the Age UK website here


Age UK Hull

Telephone: 01482 324 644

Email: mailbox@ageukhull.org.uk  

Bradbury House
Porter St
Hull HU1 2RH

Visit the Age UK Hull website here

Hull and East Riding (Hull) Citizens Advice Bureau

Telephone: 03444 111 444

1, The Wilson Centre
Alfred Gelder Street
Hull HU1 2AG

Visit the Hull and East Ridiing Citizens Advice Bureau website here

Advocacy Service

The Hull City Council also has an advocate service to if you do not have anyone you suitable to help you through this process. This service is paid for by the Hull City Council and you should ask your social worker about requesting an advocate.

Letting you know the outcome

The Council will tell you about the outcome of this initial financial assessment in writing. You will be told of what contribution you need to make (if any) and given details of how to pay

The Council will take the information you have given them and will complete a final financial assessment. They will send you a copy of the completed assessment which will detail the outcome. If your assessment states that you need to make a contribution, it will tell you how you are expected to pay it.

What happens after you complete the Financial Assessment?

Once you have completed the financial assessment, a trained financial assessment officer will review your information. They will then contact you to discuss your needs.

Yearly reviews

Every year The Hull City Council will look again at your financial assessment by checking your income and savings. They may ask you to confirm your details again. The Hull City Council will then adjust the outcome of the assessment accordingly and let you know the outcome.

It is important that you tell the Hull City Council about changes to your circumstances as soon as possible. This is to make sure you are not paying too much or too little. The Council will backdate what you need to pay to the date when the change happened. This means that you could either be faced with a large and unexpected bill. Alternatively, you could be paying more than you need to if you don’t inform the council as soon as possible.


Self assessment

If you do not have a social worker, you cannot complete a financial assessment. Instead the Local Authority will need to investigate whether you are eligible for statutory support. To do this you need to complete a self assessment.

You can complete a self assessment if you or the person you are caring for is 18 and over and has -

  • health problems
  • a physical disability
  • sensory impairments
  • a learning disability
  • mental health problems that mean you need support to be safe or live independently
  • applicants must live within or be moving to within the Hull boundary.

The assessment starts by drawing out what outcomes you want to achieve. These outcomes can be general such as being safe. They can also be specific like being able to meet friends and family or being able to prepare a meal.

It will ask you about your life at the moment, including what is working well and the things you enjoy. It will then ask you about the support you get from friends, family or anyone else. It will also be an opportunity for you to explain about any difficulties you are having.

It is important that you are involved as much as possible so you are in control of the process. If you require help, you may want to ask someone you trust like a family member to support you. Alternatively, you can ask one of the Hull City Council’s assessors for help. They can support you either over the phone or face to face.

Apply for a Self assessment

Apply online to the Hull City Council - Adult social care self assessment

Alternatively, you can visit the Hull City Council customer service centre and request assistance to complete a self assessment . The address is –

Hull City Council Customer Service Centre
Alfred Gelder Street
Hull
HU1 2AG

Open Hours – 9am to 4.30pm (Monday to Friday)

Telephone 01482 300 300 and request assistance to complete the self assessment

What happens next?

The Hull City Council will review your information and contact you to discuss your social care needs.

Last reviewed: 24/01/2017

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