Charging and financial assessment slide pack

Charging and financial
Care Act 2014
Outline of content
Conducting the financial assessment
What charges can be made?
Choice of accommodation and top-up fees
Charging to support carers
Recovery of debts
 Local authorities may charge a person needing care or a carer, but
certain types of care and support must be arranged free of charge
 If a local authority has chosen to charge a person for a service it is
arranging it must undertake a financial assessment of one level or
 The detail of how to charge is different depending on whether someone
is receiving care in a care home, their own home, or another setting
 The rules for charging are split into those for:
 A care home; and
 All other settings
 Local authorities should develop and maintain a policy on charging in
settings other than care homes
Charging and financial assessment
principles from the statutory guidance
1. Ensure that people are not charged more than it is reasonably
practicable for them to pay
2. Reduce variation in the way people are assessed and charged
3. Be clear and transparent
4. Promote wellbeing, social inclusion, and support the vision of
personalisation, independence, choice and control
5. Support carers
6. Be person-focused
7. Apply the charging rules consistently
8. Encourage and enable those who wish to stay in or take up
employment, education or training
9. Be sustainable for local authorities in the long-term
Where Care Act charges must not
be made
 Intermediate care including
reablement (for up to six weeks)
 Aids, and minor adaptations of less
than £1,000
 Care and support provided to
people with CJD
 After care/support provided under
Mental Health Act 1983 s117
 NHS services
 Any services which an authority is
under a duty to provide through
other legislation
Financial assessment
 In a financial assessment, both capital and income must be assessed,
which will be either disregarded, partially disregarded or included
 Some capital and income must be disregarded and local authorities
have discretion to disregard assets in some other circumstances
 The value of a person’s main or only home must be disregarded where
they are receiving care in a setting that is not a care home or where a
qualifying relative occupies the property as their main or only home
 To help encourage people to remain in or take up employment earnings
from current employment must be disregarded
 Notional capital and income can be taken into account
‘Light-touch’ financial assessments
 A local authority may choose a ‘light touch financial assessment’ for
instance where:
The person has significant financial resources, and does not wish to
undergo a full financial assessment for personal reasons
There is a small or nominal charge for a particular service, and
carrying out a financial assessment would be disproportionate
An individual is in receipt of certain benefits e.g. Jobseekers
 The authority must be sure the person is able to pay any charges due
 A person must be informed that they have the right to request a full
financial assessment should they so wish, and so, in effect, agree to a light
touch assessment
Information and advice
 Accessible information and advice, including:
 Independent financial information and advice
 Operation of top-ups
 Deferred payment agreements (DPA)
 Complaints
 The person must be given a written record of the financial assessment
which includes:
 Explanation of how it has been carried out
 What the charge will be
 How often it will be made
 The reason for any fluctuation in charges
If the person lacks capacity
 At the time of the assessment of care and support needs, the local
authority must establish whether the person has capacity
 If the person lacks capacity, the local authority must find out if the
person has someone with legal powers to act on their behalf, as the
appropriate person will need to be involved
 If there is no such person, then an approach to the Court of Protection
is required
Capital limits
A person with more in capital than the upper capital limit is
responsible for arranging and funding their own care and support
Upper capital limit
Lower capital limit
Below the upper capital
limit, a person is
entitled to access
means-tested local
authority support
Where a person’s
resources are below the
lower capital limit they will
not need to contribute to
the cost of their care and
support from their capital
Deprivation of assets
 Deprivation of assets refers to where a person has intentionally
deprived themselves of or decreased their overall assets in order to
reduce the amount they are charged towards their care
 If a person deliberately tries to avoid care and support costs through
deprivation of assets, the local authority may charge the person as if
they still possessed the asset
 Deliberate deprivation may occur when someone knows they have a
care and support need and that they would be charged and reduces
their assets in order to avoid those charges
What charges can be made?
 The rules for charging are split into those for a care home and all other
 Charges should be reasonable and not leave people with less than a
specified amount of income
 Where a person has capital between the upper and lower limit, they
may be charged a ‘tariff income’ of £1 per week for every £250 in
capital between the two amounts
 A local authority must not charge more than the cost that it incurs in
meeting the assessed needs of the person
A local authority cannot charge an administration fee for arranging care
and support
Choice of accommodation and
top-up fees
 The local authority must provide for the person’s preferred choice of
accommodation, subject to certain conditions
 This choice applies between providers of the same type
 The local authority must offer at least one option that is affordable
within a person’s personal budget, and should offer more than one
 A person can choose a more expensive setting, through a ‘top-up’
from a third party (or the resident in some circumstances)
 The local authority must ensure that the person paying the ‘top-up’ is
willing and able to meet the additional cost, and enters into a written
agreement with the local authority, agreeing to meet that cost
Charging to support carers
 Carers play a vital role in the care and support system
 Local authorities are not required to charge a carer for support, but they
may do so
 If the local authority chooses to charge for it, replacement care should
be charged to the adult needing care and not the carer seeking a
respite break
 Local authorities should ensure that any charges do not negatively
impact on a carer’s ability to look after their own health and wellbeing
and to care effectively and safely
 Charging of carers must be in accordance with the non-residential
charging rules
 A local authority should carry out a financial assessment to ensure that
charges are affordable, but it is likely that a light-touch financial
assessment will be appropriate
Recovery of debts
 The existing powers under S22 of HASSASSA 1983 will no longer
apply from 1 April 2015
 From then on local authorities must use the provisions under S69 of the
Care Act:
 Must offer a DPA whenever possible
 Ultimately an authority has powers to recover money through the
county court
 Principles of the approach to debt recovery:
 Court action should be the last resort
 The local authority should act reasonably
 Affordable repayments
 Debts and repayments discussed with the person
 The local authority may charge people for care and support services,
and for arranging them, but some services must be free of charge
 The local authority must carry out a financial assessment of both capital
and income if it is going to charge for services
 A ‘light touch’ financial assessment may be appropriate
 There should be choice of accommodation for individuals whose needs
are best met outside their own home
 Top-up fees can be charged if a person chooses a more expensive
residential care option
 Debts may continue to be recovered under the new legal framework,
but from 1 April 2015 HASSASSA 1983 will no longer apply

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