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Paying for Residential and Community Care - Effective from April 2022

If you receive (or are going to receive) Residential or Community Care, we will carry out a financial assessment, in accordance with the guidance contained in the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, its Charging Regulations, and Code of Practice.

In order for us to assess your financial circumstances, you will initially be issued with a “Declaration of Financial Circumstances” form, which should be completed, providing details/evidence of your Income (e.g. Pensions, Benefits etc) and Savings (e.g. Bank/Building Society Accounts, National Savings, Shares etc) – you are therefore “invited” to request a financial assessment be carried out, to allow us to calculate an assessed charge, towards the cost of Residential/Community Care.

The financial form (and any supporting documents) should be returned within 15 working days of issue - if you fail to respond within this 15 day period, you may be requested to pay the full charge for Residential Care, or the Maximum Charge for Community Care (with the relevant rates/amounts to be found at the back of this guide).

You are therefore encouraged to request a financial assessment be completed, as you will only be asked to pay what you can afford to pay – in addition, as certain types of income/savings may be disregarded (in the financial assessment), it would be beneficial, to request to be financially assessed for Residential/Community Care.

Visiting Officer (dependent on Covid-19 guidance)

Please be advised that the Financial Assessments section currently employ a designated Visiting Officer, who is able to call out, to help you with completion of our Declaration of Financial Circumstances form – for further advice on this service, please could you discuss with your Care Manager (who will be able to make a referral to the Visiting Officer).

Please be aware that based on any remaining Covid 19 guidelines, a telephone call (or correspondence through email), may replace an actual home visit (which are currently being risk assessed, and with priority being given to urgent/emergency cases) – should a visit therefore be deemed as required, please ask us for an update on any remaining restrictions currently in place.

Residential Care

If Social Services agree that Residential/Nursing Care would best suit your needs, then you will be financially assessed, and may receive financial assistance, towards the cost of the care – this care may be on a Temporary (Extended Care) basis (i.e. if you are likely to return home within 52 weeks), on alternatively, on a Long Term/Permanent Basis.

Calculation of Residential Care Charges

When calculating an assessed charge, the majority of your income will be taken into account. However, you will be allowed to keep a minimum of £35.00 per week (Personal Expenses Allowance), and the following incomes are disregarded, when calculating the assessed charge:-

  • Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payment Mobility Component
  • War Disablement Pension (payable to a Veteran)
  • The first £10 of any other War Pension (e.g. payable to a Spouse)
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Up to 50% of your Occupational Pension, if it will be going to a Spouse, who is still living at the home address (except in certain circumstances)
  • Allowances for certain household bills (e.g. House Insurance, Gas, Electricity, Water) can also be made, if you have been admitted to a care home, on a Temporary (Extended Care) basis.

Please note that there are also certain types of capital that can be disregarded in the financial assessment (e.g. an Investment Product which has an element of Life Assurance attached) – if applicable, the Financial Assessments section should be contacted for further advice (with contact details to be found at the back of this guide).

Capital Threshold (Residential Care)

If you have savings of under £50,000 (this consists of savings in your name, or your share of any joint accounts), you will be financially assessed to make a financial contribution (which would be paid direct to the care home), with the Council also making a financial contribution, towards the placement.

If you have in excess of £50,000, you will be required to meet the full cost of the placement, until your savings fall below £50,000 (NB if you possess in excess of £50,000, you can still request that the Council assists in arranging your care home placement) - should savings be just above the capital limit (e.g. £52,000), you should contact the Council, in order that funding arrangements can be put in place, and financial assistance provided, once your savings fall below £50,000.

Please note that you should not give away any capital assets (including any property), in order to apply for financial assistance at an earlier date (as this would be classed as a “Deprivation of Capital”, and would result in the Council likely assuming that you still possess these assets).

Property Ownership and Deferred Payments

If you own your own home, its value may be taken into account, following an admission to Long Term care (unless a partner, or disabled/qualifying relative resides at the address).

If the house is left empty, you could either decide to sell it (to fund the cost of your care), or you may enter into a Deferred Payment Agreement with the Council (subject to certain terms and conditions), whereby you may be able to delay the sale of the property until a future date.

The Council would agree to provide financial assistance, but would then recover any amounts paid to the care home (on your behalf), usually from week 13 onwards, and would recover these amounts following the eventual sale of the property – whilst the property is for sale, or Deferred Payment Agreement in place, you would continue to be financially assessed, and would be required to continue paying an assessed client contribution (i.e. based on your income).

For specific advice on Deferred Payments, you should refer to the Financial Assessments section (in addition to our factsheet, “Information on deferring residential care home fees, if you own your own home”).

If a property has been included in your financial assessment, you will be entitled to claim Attendance Allowance (due to the fact that there will be an agreement to pay additional fees at a later date), and you may also be entitled to claim the Severe Disablement Premium element of Pension Credit - similarly, if your savings are in excess of £50,000, you should also be entitled to claim Attendance Allowance (and possibly Pension Credit too, but dependent on your level of capital), as you will be meeting the full cost of your care home fees.

Payment of Residential Care Charges

Once the Council has calculated your assessed charge, a letter (and statement of charges) will be sent to you (or, if you would prefer, to a representative on your behalf) advising of the weekly amount that needs to be paid to the care home – you will then be expected to pay the assessed charge (direct to the care home), with the Council making its own arrangements to pay its own financial contribution direct to the care home.

Third Party/Additional Cost (Top Up) Payments

Please note that the total (contracted) cost of Residential Care, is normally made up of a combination of the assessed client contribution, and the Council contribution.

However, should a care home decide to charge in excess of the maximum (contracted) charge, then somebody acting on your behalf will normally be required to enter into a separate arrangement (called a Third Party/Additional Cost Agreement), in order to pay the difference in cost - please note that the regulations currently state that a care home resident is not usually permitted to pay this Additional Cost themselves.

Care Home Placements Outside Neath Port Talbot

You are able to choose from a list of Independent or Pobl Homes in this area, or you may decide to choose a care home, outside of Neath Port Talbot – even if you choose a care home out of the Neath Port Talbot area, you could still receive financial assistance from the Council.

However, should you have in excess of £50,000 and make your own private arrangements (in a care home outside Neath Port Talbot and without any involvement from this Council), then you may need to apply to the Council where the care home is actually situated, for any future financial assistance (i.e. when your savings fall below £50,000) – please be advised that a number of factors could determine which Council would be responsible for providing financial assistance, and each case would therefore need to be considered individually.

Please also note that should a care home outside of Neath Port Talbot charge in excess of Neath Port Talbot Council’s contracted charges, then a 3rd Party/Additional Cost will likely be applied (as explained above), in order that a 3rd Party agrees to meet the difference in cost.

Community Care

Community Care services would consist of Domiciliary/Home Care, Respite Care/Short Term, Lifelink Extra (previously Telecare/Category 3), Day Care, and Direct Payments, and you may receive one, or a combination of these services.

Calculation of Community Care Charges

Based on the services received, a financial assessment will be carried out, and a Maximum Charge calculated, towards the cost of any service(s) you receive – please note, however, that the maximum amount you will be asked to pay, will be £100 per week.

If you are over 60 years of age, you will receive an automatic disregard of £264.77 per week, and if you are aged between 18 and 60 years of age, your automatic disregard will be £189.88 per week - these figures are based on the minimum income levels prescribed by the Department for Work and Pensions (plus an additional buffer of 45%), and if your income is below these levels, you will not be required to make a contribution towards the service(s) you receive.

Please note that the majority of your income will be taken into account, when calculating an assessed charge – however, the following will be disregarded in the financial assessment:-

  • Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payment Mobility Component
  • Housing Benefit
  • War Disablement Pension (payable to a Veteran)
  • The first £10 of any other War Pension (e.g. payable to a Spouse)
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Disability Living Allowance (Care) / Personal Independence Payment (Daily Living) Component /Attendance Allowance amount exceeding £61.85 per week (i.e. the Higher Rate), if you do not receive night time care (NB this excludes Respite Care/Short Term).
  • Earnings from Wages/Salaries

Eligible expenditure - any assessed charge will be reduced by your net Council Tax payment, and we will also make allowance for essential expenses, such as:-

  • If you pay rent/mortgage for your housing (not covered by Housing Benefit)
  • If you have other exceptional expenses

We will consider all of these aspects and, if appropriate, deduct them from your income, in order to calculate the amount of income you have available to spend - any exceptional expenses should be brought to the attention of your Care Manager.

Please note that any changes in your care plan/hours could result in a re-assessment of your Community Care charges – any re-assessment would be dependent on the number of care hours you receive, and whether you are already paying up to your maximum weekly charge.

Capital Threshold (Community Care)

If you have savings under £24,000 (this consists of savings in your name, and your share of any joint accounts), you will be financially assessed based on your income. Should you have savings over £24,000, you will be assessed to pay the full cost for Community Care, up to a maximum of £100 per week – as mentioned, you should not give away any capital assets, in order to reduce your capital below the relevant capital limit (as per “Deprivation of Capital” mentioned above).

Non-disclosure of financial information

Should you choose not to disclose details of your income and savings, you will be asked to pay the full charge for the services received, up to a maximum of £100 per week.

Payment of community care charges

Once the Council has carried out a financial assessment, a letter (and Statement of Charges) will be sent to you (or, if you would prefer, to a representative on your behalf) advising of your assessed charge.

With regards to Home/Domiciliary Care, Day Care and Lifelink Extra (previously Telecare/Category 3), you will be invoiced calendar monthly for any assessed charges – please note that Direct Debit is the preferred method of payment.

If you are in receipt of Direct Payments, you will be required to make payment of your client contribution, directly into your Direct Payments account (unless you also receive additional services, and are already making payment to us, i.e. by Direct Debit).

Reablement

Reablement is short term NHS and Social Care support, to enable you to maintain (or regain) your ability to live independently at home, for as long as possible – a tailored programme will therefore be provided, in order to meet your individual needs (either in a Community (e.g. at Home) or Residential Care setting).

Although Reablement Care can be provided free of charge, for a period of “up to 6 weeks”, this does not mean that you will automatically receive free care for the full 6 week period – i.e. if a long term package of care is identified for you, prior to the end of the 6 week Reablement period, you would be assessed towards paying a charge for these services, from this earlier date (e.g. if a long term care package was identified in week 3, you would become chargeable for services from week 3).

Respite Care/Short Term

If you receive Respite/Short Term Care, a financial assessment will be carried out, and the maximum you could be asked to pay would be £100 per week/part week – however, as the Maximum Charge (for Community Care) is £100 per week, you would not be expected to pay more than £100 in any chargeable week, for Respite Care/Short Term, or a combination of Respite Care/Short Term, and any other Community Care services.

In addition, the Community Care disregards mentioned above (based on the day time element of Disability Living Allowance /Personal Independence Payment /Attendance Allowance) will not apply to Respite Care/Short Term (as the care will also include a “night time element”) - therefore, existing Community Care clients could pay more for Respite Care/Short Term, than they would for other Community Care services (e.g. if you are currently assessed to pay £60 per week towards Home/Domiciliary Care, you could be expected to pay up to £100 per week, for any Respite Care/Short Term – i.e. an additional £40 per week).

Please note that if you receive Respite Care/Short Term, you will be required to pay your assessed contribution (or any additional amount, as mentioned above, i.e. where you are receiving other services), directly to the care home/provider.

Cancelled Calls and Hospital Stays

If you give your care provider (Home Care or Care Agency) 24 hours’ notice, you will not be charged for any cancelled Home/Domiciliary Care calls. If you do not notify your care provider, then you will be charged for any “Missed Calls”.

Should you be admitted to hospital, you will continue to be charged for up to 1 week (maximum), as there is an arrangement in place, to keep your care package open/available i.e. so that there is no delay in re-starting your care package, following your hospital discharge.

Please note that you will be required to continue to pay for Lifelink Extra (previously Telecare/Category 3), if you are away from home (i.e. in hospital, or any other reason). You will also be required to pay for any Day Care service non-attendances for a period of 2 weeks (for any reason, other than a Respite Care/Short Term admission).

Other Relevant Information (Residential and Community Care)

Re-assessment of Charges

Charges will be re-assessed on an annual basis, with a re-assessment form usually sent out each April - you are also requested to notify us of any change in the occupancy of your current home (previous home, if you are now residing in a care home), in addition to any changes in your income and savings (i.e. as any changes (and where these might also be back-dated), would result in your re-assessment being back-dated for the entire relevant period).

Maximising Income

Our Welfare Rights Unit can assist with ensuring that you are receiving the correct income (from Pensions/Benefits etc.) – if there is a possibility that you are entitled to additional income, we can make a referral to the Welfare Rights Unit, or advise you to contact the relevant agency (e.g. Department for Work and Pensions) for further details.

Please note that advice is also available from external advice agencies.

Review Process

You can request a financial assessment review, if you are unhappy with the outcome of your financial assessment, and can elect to suspend payment of your charge, until a review is carried out (providing you notify us of your intention to suspend payment) – however, we will recover any unpaid amounts that may have accrued, once the outcome of the review is confirmed (i.e. dependent on the outcome of the review).

Charging Policy

Please note that copies of Neath Port Talbot Council’s “Residential and Non-Residential Care Charging Policy” are available, and can be requested from the Financial Assessments section (with the relevant contact details found below).

Contact Details - Financial Assessments Section

Financial Assessments
Directions to SA11 3QZ
Chief Executive’s Directorate,
Neath Port Talbot Council,
Civic Centre,
Neath
SA11 3QZ pref

Residential Care and Direct Payment enquiries can be directed to:-

Community Care enquiries can be directed to:-

Standard Charges (from April 2022)

Residential Care

Service Charge per week
Residential care (private homes) £718.20
Nursing care (private homes) £726.60
EMI nursing care (private homes) £762.90
Pobl residential care £805.26
Adult Family Placement £459.00

NB The above rates would relate to placements made within Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council area – as mentioned elsewhere in this document, any “Out of County” placements would not necessarily be commissioned at the above rates.

Please also note that individual care homes would need to be appropriately registered, in order to provide EMI Nursing Care.

Community Care

The Maximum Charge remains at £100 per week, with the following rates being taken into account, when calculating your assessed charge, for the service(s) you receive:-

Service Charge
Domiciliary/Home Care £18 per hour
Lifelink Extra (prev. Telecare/Cat 3) £5.70 per week
Day Care £34 per day/attendance
Direct Payments Value of Direct Payment
Respite Care/Short Term £100.00 per week/part week

Please be advised that all assessed charges will be back-dated to the actual date that the chargeable service(s) commenced.