'Care' or 'support' at home is any support or other service provided by the local council to enable someone to continue with their day to day life at home, and in their local community. The amount of support which you receive will be decided following an assessment by the council. The requesting an assessment section of this site tells you how to request an assessment from your local council, and what to expect as part of this assessment.

Depending on your financial circumstances you may be asked to pay towards the cost of any care and support provided by the council. This section explains how your ability to pay towards your care is decided.

Financial assessment
When your needs are assessed by the council, you will also be financially assessed. This 'means' assessment will determine if, and how much, you should pay towards your care and support services. The assessment will only look at your individual finances, not the finances of any other family member - even if they manage your affairs.

The financial assessment will not take into account the following when deciding if and how much you should pay:

  • the mobility component of Disabled Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment
  • the savings credit part of Pension Credit
  • Guaranteed Income Payments under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme to disabled ex-service personnel
  • savings below a certain level as decided by the government

You will not have to sell the house you live in to pay towards any services that you receive at home.

When completing a financial assessment with you, the council will also assist you to check that you are receiving all of the benefits to which you are entitled.

Charging for services

Services you won't be charged for
There are some services you will not be charged for, no matter what your financial circumstances. These include:

  • intermediate care
  • reablement care (for up to 6 weeks)
  • NHS care and services such as GP and district nurse services
  • mental health after-care services following detention in hospital
  • services for people with Creuzfeldt Jacob Disease
  • some services for carers where the carer receives the service provided in their own right

Services you may be charged for
Following a financial assessment you may be asked to pay towards some or all of the following services:

  • personal and domestic care (includes hourly and 24 hour care packages)
  • direct payments
  • putting to bed
  • home shopping
  • social inclusion (ie day care)
  • home bathing
  • cleaning (heavier housework only)
  • escorting
  • laundry
  • community alarms (includes key holding service)

How the council decides what you need to pay
It is up to your local council to decide if and how much to charge, but they have limits. They must make sure that after paying the charge your income doesn't drop below the basic level of Income Support plus 25%, or if over 60 your income should not fall below the basic level of Income Support including a pension premium, or below the basic Pensions Guarantee Credit plus 25%.

If you have assets of more than £23,250 you will be expected to pay the full cost of your care. However, you would still be able to keep any benefits you receive to help pay for the costs, such as your state pension and attendance allowance. If your savings are below £23,250, the amount you have to pay is worked out according to government rules, based on your regular income and savings between £14,250 and £23,250. The council will pay the difference, up to the maximum that is decided according to your level of need.

Contacting your local council about care charges
If you want to discuss your current care charges you can contact Sutton's Financial Assessment Team on 020 8770 5280 or financialassessmentsassh@sutton.gov.uk.

To ask for more information about how the financial assessment process works you can contact:
Sutton Council First Contact, Adult Social Services and Housing, Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, Sutton SM1 1EA.
Tel: 020 8770 5000
Fax: 020 8770 4347
Minicom: 020 8770 5178

Other information and advice
Age UK provides a leaflet which gives details of which state benefits and other income, and what level of savings, will be considered by the local council when they assess your ability to pay towards the cost of your support. The information on finances in this leaflet applies to adults of all ages.

The Money Advice Service offers information on how local councils may fund your care.

This Department of Health leaflet details how councils should conduct financial assessments and apply their charging policies

Government Statutory Guidance - Care Act 2016