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Paying for care

This section looks at how care is paid for from your cared for's income, and/or personal budget or direct payment.

Paying for care

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 your cared for needs paid carers you should be in control. Self Directed Support and your Personal Budget will make this possible.

What is Self Directed Support?

Self Directed Support is the way we arrange Adult Social Care services in Barking and Dagenham. The aim is to give choice and control over the services your cared for receive. You and your cared for are in the best place to decide how to spend a Personal Budget (the money that your cared for receive for their care and support). Your cared for decide which services they want to have, who they want them from, and when they want them.  Its always useful to think of your cared for's needs and decide the support you are willing to give and then buy services that meet their other needs.  This is also useful to ensure you as a family carer get a break and feel enabled to have a life outside of caring doing the things you want to do like a hobby or meeting freinds.

What is a Personal Budget?

As a part of your cared for's Self Directed Support, your cared for will be given you a Personal Budget. This will tell them how much money is available for their care, and they can choose how that money is spent on providing their care.

They don't have to manage the finances themselves.  They can choose to receive their Self Directed Support in a number of ways.

  • As a Direct Payment, paid straight into a bank account they have set up for this money.
  • As a Virtual Budget, where the Council manages the money on their behalf. This means that, with your cared for's agreement, the Council will arrange services for your cared for based on their budget.
  • As a managed personal budget, where the money is given to a service provider (for example, a Care Agency) and your cared for tell them which services they want.
  • As a Trust Fund, where a group of people who have your cared for's best interests at heart are legally set up to manage the money for them.

The Personal Budget will be worked out based on your cared for's assessment.  Information about their own finances to work out if they need to pay some or all of their costs will also be included in the assessment. Once the Personal Budget has been worked out, you and your cared for can start working on a Support Plan.  Your social worker will help you with this.  Remember Its always useful to think of your cared for's needs and decide the support you are willing to give and then buy services that meet their other needs.  This is also useful to ensure you as a family carer get a break and feel enabled to have a life outside of caring doing the things you want to do like a hobby or meeting freinds.

What is an assessment?

What is a Support Plan?

Your cared for's Support Plan will show how you are going to use the money.  They can ask their social worker, friends or family, or an independent advocate to help them write it. Having a Support Plan is a good way to make decisions about their care, and to make sure it works for them.

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

Your cared for can:

  • Employ support workers or personal assistants;
  • Employ family or friends who do not live with them;
  • Buy services from registered agencies/organisations;
  • Pay expenses for an unpaid helper; or
  • Buy equipment to help with their needs.

Your cared for can't:

  • Employ a family member who lives with them (except in exceptional circumstances); or of course
  • Spend the money on illegal activities.

There are some other rules about what a Personal Budget can be used for, which the Council can explain during the care planning stage.  Taking into account your needs as a carers and willingness to carry out specific tasks will ensure the Support Plan works for your cared for and for you as their informal carer.

More about the Support Plan and your cared for's rights

You and your cared for (or the people who are looking after your cared for's money)  will need to make sure a record of how much is spent is kept, and what it is spent on.

The Personal Budget and Support Plan will be reviewed regularly (at least once a year) to make sure your cared for's needs are being met. You or your cared for can ask the Council for support and advice whenever it is needed.

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

What is a deferred payment agreement?

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

It is an arrangement with the Council that will enable your cared for to defer paying for the cost of their care home against the value of their home. This represents a loan against their property. If your cared for are eligible, it can help to pay their care home bills. They can delay repaying their care costs until they choose to sell their home, or until after their 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.

Find out more about independent financial advice

Frequently asked questions

Who is eligible for a deferred payment agreement?

A person should be eligible for a deferred payment agreement if:

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

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

Can a person apply for a deferred payment if they living in their home and paying for their 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 they are living in theur own home, a deferred payment agreement would not be offered, and there are other ways for them to pay for their care (including council support if they have less than £23,250 in savings and investments).  There is the option speak to a financial adviser or an independent organisation to find out more.

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

If a person has savings and investments of less than £23,250 and they do not have a partner or dependent living in their home, they should be eligible for a deferred payment agreement. If the person have more than £23,250, they may still offer a deferred payment agreement. Contact the Council directly to find out more.

When can a person apply for a deferred payment agreement?

  • At the point of entering the home or
  • When they have been in the care home and their savings fall below the threshold or
  • When their partner/dependant no longer lives in the home

When will I have to repay the deferred payment agreement?

A person can sell their own home and repay the deferred payment agreement at any point. Following their death, it will be paid from their estate.

How much can a person defer?

The amount that can be defer will depend on the value of a person's home.

How much will it cost 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 a 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/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?

The council will charge interest on the amount owed to them whilst they 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 July every year. Contact the local authority for information about the current rate of interest. Notification of the interest rate is given at the start of the deferred payment agreement.

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

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

Who will value the person's  home?

The Council will arrange to have the person's property valued and the cost of this will be included in the administration fee. If the person disagrees, they can request an independent valuation. The Council will only defer payment up to the value of 80% of the property.

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

The maximum amount of costs that the Council will pay on a person's 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 this agreement. To make sure that the person understand the full terms and conditions of the agreement, it might be helpful to seek independent advice from a solicitor, financial advisor or an independent organisation before signing a deferred payment agreement.

Can a person get a deferred payment agreement if their house is in a flood risk area?

In order to be eligible for a deferred payment agreement the property will need to be insured. Please contact the Council if there are specific concerns about this.

What will happen a person's home after their death?

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

Who decides the price the home will be sold at after a person's death?

This will be decided by the executor. However, following a person's death, the Council will liaise with the executor to reclaim the debt. The executor will arrange the sale of the property and repayment of the money owed to the Council.

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

The 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 the 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 the Council 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 does a person apply for a deferred payment agreement?

To apply for a deferred payment agreement, download the Deferred Payment Scheme Application Form.

The completed application form should be sent to:

Financial Assessment Team, Civic Centre, 2nd Floor, South Wing, Dagenham, RM10 7BN.

The team can also be contacted:

by telephone:  020 8227 2390 or

by email: Financial.Assessments@lbbd.gov.uk

Information to support 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 a person is paying the full costs of their care, they are known as a 'self-funder'.

What makes a person a self funder?

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

How can the Council help a person as a self funder?

Assessment of a person's needs

The Council can work with a person to carry out an assessment of their needs, even if they can’t get financial support on a long-term basis. The assessment can help them to decide what kind of care could best meet their needs. Where they are assessed as needing care and support services but they are identified as a self funder, the Council can provide support to arrange those services if the person is not able to do so or if there is no one to help them to do it.

Find out more about having an assessment

Deferred payment Agreement

A deferred payment agreement means that the person should not have to sell their home in their lifetime to pay care home bills. It is an arrangement with the council that will enable them to defer paying for the cost of their care home against the value of their home. The council operates a deferred payment scheme.

Find out more about deferred payment agreement

Financial advice to pay for the service

If a person makes arrangments to pay for their own care independently, it is important that they get financial advice from a reputable organisation or financial advisor so that they can make informed decisions about funding their 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 go to Independent Living Agency

Advice on making and resolving a complaint

Each service used should have their own complaints procedure and in the first instance a person should direct their complaint to them. The following link has information and advice to help you make a complaint.

Advice on property issues

If a person's property is empty and they live permanently in a care home, they don’t have to pay Council Tax. For further information please visit the link below.

Council Tax exemptions

If a person's property is empty,  you will need to make sure that it is adequately insured – many insurance companies need to know if a property is left empty for more than 60 days.

If a person was a resident in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham but moved to live out of the borough, as a self funder they will then be considered a resident of the borough they have moved to, even if they have property in Barking and Dagenham. If they need financial support in the future, they will need to contact the council in which they are resident at the time.

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, a person may still have to pay all or part of their accommodation costs at the home. The Council can tell you how they work out your contribution and how much it is likely to be.

The Council will do their best to give the person the financial facts and explain the charges to them but sometimes different rules apply. In these cases the Council may only be able to give the person a general idea of how much they may have to pay.

How much will a person have to pay for their stay in nursing care?

How much a person pays will depend on how much money they have. When the Council talk to a person about their needs during their assessment, the Council will also look at the person's finances, to work out how much they will need to pay. Regulations about how much the Council should charge are set by Government.

If a person has savings or investments which are over £23,250 they will have to pay the full cost of their stay in the home.

The Council also take into account any savings between £14,250 and £23,250, as well as a person's income which will help decide how much they will be charged.

The following payments count towards a person's income:

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

The Council do not count:

  • Disability Living Allowance; or
  • Attendance Allowance.

If a person does not want to tell the Council about their financial situation they do not have to do so - but they may then ask the person to pay the full costs of their care.

Will the person have to sell their home?

The value of your home as part of your income will be disregarded if any of the following apply:

  • the person's 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; or
  • a child under 16 the person is financially responsible for continues to live there.

Sometimes other conditions apply which can be take into account when deciding if the value of the person's house should be included in their income. However the value of their house must be taken into account in order to decide how much they should pay for their residential or nursing home care.

Get in touch

For more advice, contact the 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

What are the charges?

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

How much will the person have to pay?

How much a person has to pay will depend on how much money they have. During their assessment,  their finances will be taken into account, to work out how much they will have to pay. Regulations about how much should be charged are set by the government.

If a person have savings or investments which are over £23,250 they will have to pay the full cost of their stay in the home.

Any savings will also be taken into account between £14,250 and £23,250, as well as income which will help decide how much they will be charged.

The following payments count towards a person's income:

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

 do not count towards the person's income:

  • Disability Living Allowance; or
  • Attendance Allowance.

If a person does not want to disclose information about their financial situation they do not have to do so - but they may then be asked to pay the full costs of their care.

What if a person is only going in for a short stay?

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

What if the person's savings run out?

If a person's assets drop below the thresholds their assessment will be reviewed.

Will the person have to sell their home?

The Council will not count the value of the person's home as part of their income if any of the following apply:

  • The person's 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; or
  • a child under 16 that the person is financially responsible for continues to live there.

Sometimes other conditions apply which the Council can take into account when they are deciding if the value of the house should be included in the person's income.

For more help or advice then get in touch.

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

Information about independent financial advice

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

Who would benefit from independent financial advice?

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/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. 

Please click HERE for information in regards to paying your own care costs but the money has run out.

Phone: 0300 500 5000

(The cost to call 0300 numbers is the same as calling a normal local or national landline.)

Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA)

Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) 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.

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.

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
Email: barkinganddagenhamadviceageuk@gmail.com
Opening Times: Mon-Wed-Fri 9.00am to 1.00pm

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.

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 bank or building society, and can only do this if you are unable to make decisions about your own money.  They call this ability to make decisions 'capacity'.  They cannot manage your money just because they 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.

Getting in touch

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.