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eleafletHow much might I have to pay?

All councils should work out how much you have to pay according to their Fairer Charging policy. Here are the rules they should follow in deciding what to charge you.

How much might I have to pay?

When working out how much to charge you for care at home, councils should take into account:

  • how much the service costs, and
  • how much you could reasonably be expected to pay. To work this out, they are allowed to ask you how much income you get and what savings you have.

You will always be left with a certain amount of income, which is higher than the basic level of income support and is set by government.

If you are unhappy with what your local council has decided for you, you may be able to challenge its decision using the complaints procedure.

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What if I'm asked to pay too much?

You should never be charged so much that you are struggling to pay. If you feel you cannot pay, you can ask your local council's social services department to review the charge.

And you should always be left with some income after you've paid your charges. If you're over 60, for example, the minimum income you should be left with has to be more than the guaranteed basic income under Pension Credit. The amount changes every year. (The age at which you can get Pension Credit will increase from 60 to 65 between 2010 and 2020 in line with the increase in the retirement age for women.)

If you think social services haven't taken into account any extra things you have to pay for because of a disability or other problem, you can ask for a full assessment of your disability-related expenditure. This may include things like:

  • extra washing
  • community alarms
  • special clothing
  • extra heating costs
  • transport costs, and
  • buying and maintaining disability-related equipment.

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What if I don't pay?

Your local council can't stop your services if you don't pay, but it can try to get you to pay what you owe.

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What you can do now:

  • Find out about your local council's 'needs assessments' by entering your postcode here: Find out about a needs assessment by social services
  • Get help and advice from Age UK. (the new organisation formed by AgeConcern and Help the Aged)
  • Contact your local Age UK office for a benefits check. Find your local office
  • Speak to your social worker about direct payments
  • Call the Disability and Carers Service for information on Carers Allowance on their freephone line 0800 88 22 00.  Textphone 0800 24 33 55
  • Call the National Centre for Independent Living Advice Line on 0845 026 4748
  • Get advice now by calling 08001 225 6653.

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