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Paying for care

We are currently holding a public consultation to gather people’s views on some proposed changes to our charging policy. Details of this can be found on the charging policy consultation website. This consultation process will remain open until the 27 June 2019.

Paying for adult social care services can seem complicated and confusing, but we try to make it as straightforward as we can. Find out how it works.

Personal budgets and self directed support

If you need paid carers we think you should be in control. Self directed support and your personal budget will make this possible.

Self directed support

Self directed support is the way we arrange adult social care services in Barking and Dagenham. We aim to give you choice and control over the services you receive. We think you are in the best place to decide how you spend your personal budget (the money that you receive for care and support). You decide which services you want to have, who you want them from, and when you want them.

Personal budgets

As a part of your self directed support, we will give you a personal budget. This will tell you how much money is available for your care, and you can choose how that money is spent on providing your care.

You don't have to manage the finances yourself.  You can choose to receive your self directed support in a number of ways:

  • as a direct payment, paid straight into a bank account you have set up for this money
  • as a virtual budget, where the council manages the money on your behalf. This means that, with your agreement, we will arrange services for you based on your budget
  • as a managed personal budget, where the money is given to a service provider (for example, a care agency) and you tell them which services you want
  • as a trust fund, where a group of people who have your best interests at heart are legally set up to manage the money for you

Your personal budget will be worked out based on your assessment. We will also use information about your own finances to work out if you need to pay some or all of your costs. Once we have worked out your personal budget, you can start working on a support plan. We will help you with this.

Social care assessments

Support plan and your rights

Having a support plan is a good way to make decisions about your care, and to make sure it works for you.

There are a number of traditional care services which your personal budget can pay for, such as day care or home care, but you are in control. This means you can spend your money on other things as long as they meet your care needs. There are some rules which have been set by the government, for example:

You can:

  • employ support workers or personal assistants
  • employ family or friends who do not live with you
  • buy services from registered agencies or organisations
  • pay expenses for an unpaid helper
  • buy equipment to help with your needs

You can't:

  • employ a family member who lives with you (except in exceptional circumstances); or of course
  • spend the money on illegal activities

There are some other rules about what your Personal Budget can be used for, but we will explain these to you. We want your Support Plan to work for you.

Your rights

We will review your support plan with you regularly, especially if your circumstances change or you are concerned that the plan is not working. We need to make sure that you are getting what you need and that you have enough money to pay for the things you need. You need to feel comfortable and confident that the services you are using are the right ones for you.

Remember:

  • you have a right to be treated with courtesy and with dignity and respect
  • you have a right to privacy for yourself, and for your relatives and friends when they visit you
  • you have a right to deal with your own money, and to spend it in the way you want to
  • you have a right to express your views, feelings and concerns
  • you have a right to worship where and when you want to
  • you have a right to eat food that is prepared in line with your religious and cultural needs
  • you have a right to choose the food that you eat and be given the time and space to relax and enjoy your meal
  • you have a right to be involved in activities such as work, education and parenting
  • you have a right to get up in the mornings and go to bed at night at the times you choose
  • you have a right to relationships, including intimate relationships
  • you have a right to complain if you are not happy with the care you get

 

We will need to make sure you (or the people who are looking after your money for you) keep records of how much is spent, and what it is spent on.

We will still be in regular contact with you to make sure you are happy with your situation. Your personal budget and support plan will be reviewed with you regularly (at least once a year) to make sure your needs are being met. You can ask us for support and advice whenever you need it.

Talk to your key-worker or call the Adult Intake and Access Team if you are not sure. You can telephone them on 020 8227 2915.

Deferred payment agreements

A deferred payment agreement means that you should not have to sell your home in your lifetime to pay care home bills.

It's an arrangement with the council that will enable you to defer paying for the cost of your care home against the value of your home. This represents a loan against your property. If you're eligible, we can help to pay your care home bills. You can delay repaying us until you choose to sell your home, or until after your death.

Deferred payment agreements will suit some people's circumstances better than others. A deferred payment agreement is only one way to pay for care. To find out more about the options available, you can speak to a financial adviser or seek advice from an independent organisation.

Who is eligible for a deferred payment agreement?

You should be eligible for a deferred payment agreement if:

  • you are receiving care in a care home (or you are going to move into one soon), and
  • you own your own home (if your partner or others live there see below), and
  • you have savings and investments of less than £23,250 (not including the value of your home or your pension pot)

There are circumstances where a deferred payment agreement cannot be considered, for example, it cannot be offered if your partner or a dependent lives in the property.

Can I apply for a deferred payment if I’m living in my home and paying for my own care?

A deferred payment agreement is designed for people who are most at risk of selling their home to pay care home fees. If you're living in your own home, a deferred payment agreement would not be offered, and there are other ways for you to pay for your care (including council support if you have less than £23,250 in savings and investments). You could speak to a financial adviser or an independent organisation to find out more.

Can I apply for a deferred payment if I already live in a care home?

If you have savings and investments of less than £23,250 and you do not have a partner or dependent living in your home, you should be eligible for a deferred payment agreement. If you have more than £23,250, we may still offer you a deferred payment agreement. Contact us directly to find out more.

When can I apply for a deferred payment agreement?

  • at the point of entering the home or
  • when you have been in the care home and your savings fall below the threshold or
  • when your partner/dependant no longer lives in the home

When will I have to repay the deferred payment agreement?

You can sell your home and repay the deferred payment agreement at any point. Following your death, it will be paid from your estate.

How much can I defer?

The amount you can defer will depend on the value of your home.

How much will it cost me to set up a deferred payment agreement?

Every council is entitled to charge an administrative fee for setting up a deferred payment agreement. This fee is to cover the costs in setting up your deferred payment agreement, and not to make a profit. As of April 2015 the initial setup fee is £500; this fee will be subject to annual review. Prices will be made publicly available.

The council may also charge for additional costs incurred during or at the end of the agreement; these include costs associated with the valuation of the property, costs of providing statements, removing or placing legal charges on the property and other costs associated with the deferred payment agreement.

What is the interest rate on a deferred payment agreement?

We can charge interest on the amount owed to us whilst we are helping you to pay your care home bills. The maximum interest rate that can be charged will be fixed by the government and will change on the 1st of January and 1st of July every year. Contact the local authority for information about the current rate of interest. You will also be notified of the interest rate when you start your deferred payment agreement.

How long does it take to set up a deferred payment agreement?

During the first twelve weeks you are in a care home, your home is not taken into account for the purposes of calculating what you might pay and a deferred payment agreement would usually start after that period. If you are eligible, we will be working with you to set up an agreement within twelve weeks of you moving into a care home.

Who will value my home?

The council will arrange to have your property valued and the cost of this will be included in the administration fee. If you disagree, you can request an independent valuation. We will only defer payment up to the value of 80% of the property.

Can the terms of my deferred payment agreement be changed at any time?

The maximum amount of costs that the council will pay on your behalf, along with the interest rate and any administrative fees, will be set out at the start of the deferred payment agreement. These will be reviewed regularly and can be changed.

Any other conditions - for example how the property should be maintained - will also be written down in your agreement. To make sure that you understand the full terms and conditions of the agreement, it might be helpful to seek independent advice from a solicitor, financial adviser or an independent organisation before signing a deferred payment agreement.

Can I get a deferred payment agreement if my house is in a flood risk area?

In order to be eligible for a deferred payment agreement your property will need to be insured. Please contact us if you have specific concerns about this.

What will happen to my home after my death?

The executor of your estate should arrange repayment of the money owed to the council, either by putting your home up for sale, or by arranging for another person, such as your executor, to pay. If the money owed is repaid without your home being sold, then your property will be dealt with according to any instructions you have left.

Who decides the price my home will be sold at after my death?

This will be decided by your executor. However, following your death, the council will liaise with your executor to reclaim the debt. Your executor will arrange the sale of your property and repayment of the money owed to the council.

How long will my executor have to repay the deferred payment agreement without incurring extra charges?

Your executor will have up to 90 days to repay the deferred payment agreement. However, if it is not paid within that time, interest charges will continue to be added until the debt has been paid in full.

What will happen if my executor doesn’t pay back the deferred payment agreement?

The council has the power to recover the debt through legal proceedings.

Can a family member apply for a deferred payment agreement if a person needing care has dementia or does not have the capacity to understand?

Carers and families can help people to make decisions about their care and how to pay for it. If we are concerned that the person applying for the deferred payment agreement does not have the capacity to understand, or will not have capacity to understand in the near future, then another person may need to represent them. Only a person who is properly authorised, for example a Deputy with a lasting power of attorney for property and affairs, can represent someone in applying for a deferred payment agreement.

How do I apply for a deferred payment agreement?

To apply for a deferred payment agreement, download the deferred payment scheme application form (PDF, 243 KB).

The completed application form should be sent to:

Financial Assessment Team, 90 Stour Road, Dagenham, RM10 7DE.

The team can also be contacted:
by telephone:  020 8227 2390 or
by email: financial.assessments@lbbd.gov.uk
 

Adults who fund their own care (often called self-funders)

People arrange their own care and support for different reasons; some may pay the full costs and others may be 'council supported' but still pay a charge.

If you're paying the full costs of your care, you are known as a 'self-funder'. What makes you a self-funder: 

  • you have approached adult social care and, although your needs show that you are eligible for services, your income and assets including savings are above the financial threshold for financial help from the council
  • you have chosen to fund your own care as you do not want to be financially assessed and wish to make your own arrangements for support
  • you have been assessed but you are not currently eligible for care and support services but wish to put services in place
  • you have chosen not to approach the council for help but wish to arrange support for yourself

Assessment of your needs

We can work with you to carry out an assessment of your needs, even if you can’t get financial support on a long term basis. The assessment can help you to decide what kind of care could best meet your needs. Where you are assessed as needing care and support services but you are identified as a self-funder, we can provide support to arrange those services if you are not able to do so yourself or if there is no one to help you to do it.
Find out more about having an assessment   (link to social care assessment page on council website)

Deferred payment agreement

A deferred payment agreement means that you should not have to sell your home in your lifetime to pay care home bills. It is an arrangement with the council that will enable you to defer paying for the cost of your care home against the value of your home. You can find out more about the deferred payment scheme.

Financial advice to pay for the service

If you arrange and pay for your own care independently, it is important that you get financial advice from a reputable organisation or financial adviser so that you can make informed decisions about funding your care.

Advocacy

There are advocacy services available which can help you to, say what you want, secure your rights, represent your interests and obtain the services you need. For general information about different advocacy services available locally visit the Independent Living Agency website.

Advice on making and resolving a complaint

Each service you use should have their own complaints procedure and in the first instance you should direct your complaint to them.

For more information visit our complain about adult social care services page.
 

Paying for a nursing home

The council is not allowed to run nursing homes because they provide health care. So they are all run by independent organisations, private companies or other organisations.

Nursing homes usually charge more than residential homes because of the specialist care available. Everyone who needs it is entitled to a contribution of £108 per week from the NHS towards their nursing costs. This is paid no matter what your income or savings are. In some cases, the NHS will pay more.

However, you may still have to pay all or part of your accommodation costs at the home. If you contact us, we can tell you how we work out your contribution and how much it is likely to be. We will do our best to give you the financial facts and explain the charges to you but sometimes different rules apply. In these cases we may only be able to give you a general idea of how much you may have to pay.

Paying for your stay in nursing care

How much you have to pay will depend on how much money you have. When we talk to you about your needs during your assessment, we will also look at your finances with you, to work out how much you will have to pay. Regulations about how much we should charge are set by the government.

If you have savings or investments which are over £23,250 you will have to pay the full cost of your stay in the home.

We also take into account any savings between £14,250 and £23,250, as well as your income which will help decide how much you will be charged.

The following payments count towards your income:

  • any pensions or wages you receive
  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • any extra social security benefits you may be entitled to claim for your stay in the home

We do not count:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance

If you do not want to tell us about your financial situation you do not have to do so - but we may then ask you to pay the full costs of your care.

Will I have to sell my home

We will not count the value of your home as part of your income if any of the following apply:

  • your husband, wife or partner continues to live there
  • a relative aged 60 or over continues to live there
  • a relative under 60 who receives certain disability allowances continues to live there
  • a child under 16 you are financially responsible for continues to live there

Sometimes other conditions apply which we can take into account when we are deciding if the value of your house should be included in your income. However we still have to take the value of your house into account when we decide how much you should pay for your residential or nursing home care.

Contact

If you need more advice, contact our Intake and Access Team.

Adult Intake and Access Team
Phone: 020 8227 2915
Minicom: 020 8227 2462
Email: IntakeTeam@lbbd.gov.uk
 

Paying for a residential home

Residential home costs 

If you have to go into a residential care home, you will have to pay towards this but you don't need to worry. The amounts depend on your income (how much you have coming in each week), and your assets (your savings, investments and the value of any property you own). We will help you to calculate this, and usually the residential home staff will help with this too. The charges will never stop you getting the care you need.

How much you will have to pay

How much you have to pay will depend on how much money you have. When we talk to you about your needs during your assessment, we will also look at your finances with you, to work out how much you will have to pay. Regulations about how much we should charge are set by the government.

If you have savings or investments which are over £23,250 you will have to pay the full cost of your stay in the home.

We also take into account any savings between £14,250 and £23,250, as well as your income which will help decide how much you will be charged.

The following payments count towards your income:

  • any pensions or wages you receive
  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • Any extra social security benefits you may be entitled to claim for your stay in the home.

We do not count:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance

If you do not want to tell us about your financial situation you do not have to do so - but we may then ask you to pay the full costs of your care.

Short stay

If you do not expect to stay at the home for more than six weeks then there is a fixed weekly charge of £75.35.

My savings 

If your assets drop below the thresholds your assessment will be reviewed.

Will I have to sell my home?

We will not count the value of your home as part of your income if any of the following apply:
•    your husband, wife or partner continues to live there
•    a relative aged 60 or over continues to live there
•    a relative under 60 who receives certain disability allowances continues to live there
•    a child under 16 you are financially responsible for continues to live there

Sometimes other conditions apply which we can take into account when we are deciding if the value of your house should be included in your income. If you need help or advice then please get in touch.

Contact

Adult Intake and Access Team

Phone: 020 8227 2915
Minicom: 020 8227 2462
Email: IntakeTeam@lbbd.gov.uk

Adult and Community Services Financial Assessment Team
Address: 90 Stour Road, Dagenham RM10 7DE
Phone: 020 8227 2390
 

Independent financial advice

No matter what your situation is, it's important to make the most of your money, be aware of the benefits which you may be entitled to and know your legal rights.

Many people may benefit from independent financial advice including:

  • those who might need a small amount of additional income to fund care at home, or capital for adaptations or extensions to their home
  • people with an immediate need for long-term residential or nursing home care
  • those who are already resident in a care home and paying for their care from either their income and savings
  • existing or potential care home residents who want to make sure that their savings, investments and other assets pass to their family and/or other beneficiaries
  • people acting as an 'Attorney' and who are responsible for the financial affairs of someone in any of the above circumstances

Sources of independent financial advice  

Money Advice Service 

The Money Advice Service is a free, independent service set up by government and funded by a levy on the financial services industry where you can find information about funding long-term care.

The advice and information is available online, over the phone and face to face. 

How to fund your long term care – beginners guide

Money Advice Service website
Phone: 0300 500 5000

Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA)

SOLLA is a not-for-profit organisation which provides a database of financial advisors who specialise in giving advice on finances in later life, enabling you to plan ahead or to make the most of your money once you reach retirement and older age. All advisors on the database have to prove that they meet appropriate criteria and have the right qualifications before they are accredited by SOLLA. You can use it to find a local advisor.

Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA)
Phone: 0845 303 2909

Age UK

Age UK can provide information on choosing and paying for care. The information on finances in this leaflet applies to adults of all ages.

Paying for care and support at home – factsheet

Age UK Redbridge, Barking and Havering
Barking and Dagenham Advice for 65+
The Ripple Centre
121-125 Ripple Road
Barking
IG11 7FN

Telephone: 020 8532 7354
Website: www.ageuk.org.uk/redbridgebarkinghavering/ 
Email: barkinganddagenhamadviceageuk@gmail.com
Opening Times: Mon-Wed-Fri 9am to 1pm

DABD

DABD (uk) expert advisors carry out a free income maximisation check to establish entitlements to benefits and tax credits. They can help with any forms that need to be completed and if necessary, refer to other services or schemes that may be able to help.

Tel: 020 8252 5340
Website: www.dabd.org.uk

Tax Help for Older People 

Tax Help for Older People (TOP) independent free tax advice service for older people on low incomes who cannot afford to pay for professional advice. It doesn't matter where you live; they have a team of 20 and over 500 volunteers who can help. Advice is given depending on your situation and your query, and can be by telephone, a face to face meeting, post or by email. If your household income is less than £17,000 (after tax) per year and you are over 60, you will qualify for free tax advice.

Tax help for Older People
Phone: 0845 601 3321 (local call)

Other useful websites

  • Adviceguide (Citizens Advice) - for information about benefits and debt
  • Advicenow - information about the law and your rights
  • Benefit fraud - Directgov information if you suspect someone is obtaining benefits that they aren't entitled to
  • Debt Advice Foundation - a charity offering free, impartial advice about debt
  • Department of Health has information on how councils should conduct financial assessments and apply their charging policies
  • GOV.UK - for detailed pensions and benefits information from the government
  • HM Revenue and Customs - information on tax codes and credits, allowances, national savings and investments, and pensioners' issues
  • Turn2us - helps people access the money available to them through welfare benefits, grants and other help
  • The Which website offers advice on paying for care at home
  • The Payments Council (a voluntary membership organisation which represents the payments industry in the UK) has produced Pay Your Way a guide on safe ways in which you can allow other people to pay for things on your behalf, whilst still staying in control of your finances
     

Appointing the council to manage your money

It may be possible for the council to manage your money for you and become your Appointee if:

  • you are receiving social care services such as home care, day care or have a support worker; or
  • you live in a residential or nursing home and receive state benefits

The council is not the same as a bank or a building society, and we can only do this if you are unable to make decisions about your own money. We call this ability to make decisions 'capacity'.

We cannot manage your money just because we don't agree with how you are spending it.

If you want the council to become your Appointee then please speak to the person who provides or arranges your care and they will help you to arrange this, or they may suggest this to you.

What does an Appointee do

As your Appointee, the council will arrange to receive your state benefits and to pay your bills, managing your money for you.

Contact

Revenues and Benefits
Phone: 020 8215 3000 
Fax: 020 8227 2574
Email: Benefits@lbbd.gov.uk 

If you receive social care services, speak to the person who arranges your care and ask them for more information.
 

Care and support charging policy

The adults’ care and support charging policy is the document which details how we assesses a service user’s finances to find out how much, if any, they should be paying towards the cost of their care. This document is for people who are receiving their care in the community and does not cover people who are living in residential or nursing care.

Care and support charging policy (PDF, 530KB)