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Paying for care services

Information on who has to pay a contribution to their care services and why, what is reviewed in a financial assessment and free services. 

Will I need to pay for care services?

The amount you contribute to your care services depends on your current financial situation.

We will carry out a financial assessment with you, to decide how much-funded care you are entitled to under the directions set out by the government.

Please note: before the financial assessment, we will need to carry out an assessment of your care needs. If you have not already been assessed for your needs, please visit the access to social care page.

What do you check during a financial assessment?

We will examine your financial situation to assess how much-funded care you are entitled to and how much you will need to contribute to your care. An assessment is not required if you only wish to access free care services. The assessment will take into account the following:

  • income
  • outgoings
  • savings
  • if you are a homeowner
  • benefits and expenses relating to disability (they will also ensure that you are receiving all the benefits that you are entitled to).

Please note: you may not have to pay for any services. Any contributions depend on your capital, income, benefits and/or expenses relating to disability.


If you have between £14,250 and £23,250 in capital/savings you will be required to make a contribution from this. If your capital/savings are over £23,250 you will be required to pay the actual cost of your service.


If you own your home, its value might be included as part of your capital. If you own property or land other than your home, the council will always include the value as part of your capital.

Under the Care Act, you may be entitled to a deferred payment agreement, meaning that you shouldn't have to sell your home in your lifetime to pay for your care.

Read more about selling your home.

Will I have to sell my home to pay for my care?

Not always. From April 2015, some people will be entitled to a deferred payment agreement, meaning they shouldn't have to sell their homes in their lifetime to pay for their care. Read more about deferred payment agreements.

There are also some circumstances where the value of your home will not be taken into account because other people are still living there. Read more about houses exempt from assessment.

What is a deferred payment agreement?

A deferred payment agreement is an arrangement with the council that will enable some people to use the value of their homes to pay for their care costs.

A deferred payment is only one way to pay for your care. To find out more about the options available, talk to your care worker or contact customer services.

If you are eligible, the council will help to pay your care home bills on your behalf. You can delay repayment until you choose to sell your home or until after your death.

Deferred payments frequently asked questions (pdf 108kb)

To find out if you are eligible, you will need a financial assessment.

Please note: the council may charge a small amount of interest on the amount owed, and there may also be a fee for setting this arrangement up. These will be set to cover the council's costs, and not to make a profit.

Still living in your own home? You don't need a deferred payment agreement yet.

Houses exempt from assessment

The value of your home will not be included as part of your capital if one of the following people are still living there:

  • your spouse/civil partner, or partner, who live with you as if you were married
  • a relative* who is 60 years old or more
  • a relative* who is incapacitated
  • a relative* who is under 16 and whom you are legally liable to support.

*Relatives include son, daughter, niece, nephew and some other family members.

If you are unsure, please talk to your care worker or contact customer services.

Do you provide any free care services?

There are some services currently free and not subject to any contribution. These are:

  • some services to carers
  • services in response to needs identified by some people who have long-term mental health issues and who are subject to Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983
  • some services if your care package is arranged and paid for by the NHS and Intermediate Care
  • advice and assessments from adult care management
  • some aids and equipment to support independent living (this does not currently include Lifeline, which is subject to a contribution).

All other services may be subject to your paying a contribution, and we will need to complete a financial assessment with you.

Why do I have to pay a contribution to my care?

Central Government has issued directions on how local authorities should charge for services, called 'Fairer Charging'.

You will only contribute a reasonable amount as the Fairer Charging Policy takes into account both your income/savings and your outgoings.

Paying for Care: An informative guide to help you with your care plan (pdf 4mb)

Please note: your contribution will differ depending on whether you are going to use your personal budget for residential care or non-residential care. This is because central Government has different rules for different types of care. For more information on how this affects you please talk to your care worker or contact customer services.

You can choose to pay for all your services yourself if you wish. If you do not want to disclose your financial details you will be treated as if you are funding all your care yourself.

Who can I contact for more information?

You can get more information on paying for care services from your adult care management worker.  They can give you the local authority’s more detailed booklets on residential and non-residential charges.

You can also speak to customer services:

Contact method
(01482) 393939

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