Charging for non-residential care

Once you've had a needs assessment and are receiving community care services, you may be asked to contribute towards the cost of your non-residential care.

Whether or not you need to contribute depends on your financial circumstances and we will carry out a financial assessment to work out how much your contribution might be.

Financial assessment

As part of your financial assessment, you will be offered a benefit check by a member of the Benefits Maximisation Service who will make sure that you are receiving all the benefits to which you are entitled.

The financial assessment takes into account any income and savings you have. If you have savings of more than £23,250 then you will not be entitled to any financial support and you will be asked to make the maximum contribution towards the cost of your care services.

If you have savings between £14,250 and £23,250 the financial assessment will determine a contribution that you can afford to pay. Savings below £14,250 will not be included in the financial assessment. These income limits are set by central government.

The value of your main home and personal belongings are not included as part of the financial assessment.

When the assessment is complete, we will write to you to confirm how much you can contribute, if anything.  All information will remain confidential and is only used for the purpose of collecting your contribution. 

The council's non-residential charging policy complies with the Care Act 2014 which aims to provide a reasonable and fair charging framework for all service users.

You can refuse to have a financial assessment.  However, if you don't you will be classed as a self-funder and will be expected to pay the maximum contribution towards the cost of your care, regardless of your financial circumstances.

Disability related expenditure

A financial assessment should allow you to keep enough benefit to pay for any disability-related expenditure (DRE) you have for needs that are not met by the council. The care and support statutory guidance (Annex C) gives details of expenses and costs a local authority should consider when determining disability-related expenditure.

Liverpool City Council automatically applies a standard minimum local disregard (currently £24.16 per week) of expenses and costs where you receive the following benefits:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance (middle/high rate of the care component)
  • Personal Independence Payment (daily living component)

However, you can apply for the recognition of further disability related expenditure beyond the minimum that you are entitled to. You can request an individual assessment at any time.

If you receive Disability Allowance at the lower rate, you are not entitled to the standard minimum local disregard referred to above. But you can request an individual assessment at any time for any disability related expenditure you may have.

To request an individual assessment email benefits.service@liverpool.gov.uk  or call 0800 0283707 (freephone) or 0151 233 3051.  You can also write to Social Care Charging Team, Cunard Building, Water Street, L3 1AH.

We aim to allow for reasonable expenditure for items where you have little or no choice but to incur the cost. However, we do not normally allow for costs arising from a matter of personal choice.

Deprivation of capital

This means that you have intentionally decreased your amount of capital, such as savings, to avoid or reduce care contributions. You might have given away a lump sum of cash or transferred a property to someone else. If Liverpool City Council suspects that this has been done to avoid paying for care you might be assessed as still holding this asset or the third party who now holds the asset may become liable for part of your contribution.  

How do I pay?

We will write to you to tell you how much you will be expected to contribute towards the cost of your care and enclose your payment swipe card.

As the contribution you pay might not always be the same, for example if you are away from home and do not require home care for a few days, we will send you a statement each month setting out how much you need to pay.

We will review how much you contribute each year or if there are any changes to the benefits rate. You can also request a review of your charges at any time by contacting Careline.

Non-payment of contributions

The council has a debt recovery policy which is implemented if you do not pay your charges for four weeks. Non-payment may result in court action.

If you cannot pay your contribution because there has been a change to your circumstances, please let us know as soon as possible and we will do a further financial assessment.

If you are unwilling to pay your contribution we can discuss this with you. In both cases, please contact the Social Care Charging Team on Freephone 0800 0283707 or 0151 233 3051.

If you think the contribution you have been asked to pay is unfair, you can also submit an appeal.

How to appeal

You can send your appeal in writing to: Social Care Charging Team, Cunard Building, Pier Head, Water Street, Liverpool L3 1AH.

We will write to you to acknowledge your appeal and send details of the appeals procedure. You can also request a copy of the appeals procedure by calling Freephone 0800 0283707 or 0151 233 3051 or emailing benefits.service@liverpool.gov.uk.

Please note 0800 Freephone numbers are normally free of charge from landlines. Charges may apply from mobile phone providers. Please contact your service provider for more information.