Leaflet: What you will need to pay


How we work out what you pay towards the cost of your care and support.

May 2024 (IL02)

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Free information and advice

If you ask us about care and support services, we will give you as much information as we can. There is no charge for our advice, leaflets or information.

You can ask for a free social care needs assessment which will look at how you manage everyday tasks.

For more information on what happens in a needs assessment, see our factsheet Who qualifies for our support.

What you pay

If you qualify for support from us, you will likely need to pay towards it. Most people pay for some or all of their care. The amount you pay depends on your circumstances and is called your ‘client contribution’.

We work out how much you will pay by doing a financial assessment.

You can use our online financial checker to find out if you
are likely to pay for your care.

When you pay

You will need to pay from the date your care starts. You pay your contribution first and then the Council pays the remaining costs.

If your care has already started, we will arrange your financial assessment promptly so that charges are not backdated for significant periods of time.

What is capital?

Capital describes the financial value of assets. It includes:

  • cash
  • funds held in savings or current accounts
  • buildings, property and land
  • Premium Bonds
  • stocks and shares
  • investments
  • trust funds
  • investment bonds

Your assets

If you have more than £23,250 in capital and assets (including any property that you do not live in or land that you own) you will not be able to get financial help from us and will have to pay the full cost of your support.

If your capital and assets fall below £23,250 you can ask us to review the amount you pay. Our online capital depletion checker will give you an idea of when you may need to ask us for financial help.

If you have less than £23,250 in capital and assets, we will work out how much you need to pay towards your support by looking at your capital and assets, income and outgoings.

Financial assessment process

The type of financial assessment you will have depends on the care you are going to receive. In some cases, we can complete your financial assessment without contacting you.

If we need to do a ‘full financial assessment’, we will send you a link to our Online Financial Calculator by email. You will be asked to complete your financial assessment electronically and submit your supporting documentation.

We may contact you by phone to discuss the best way for you, which could include visiting you to help you complete the financial assessment.

Once your financial assessment is complete, we will write to you to confirm what your ‘client contribution’ will be.

Read more about financial assessments in our factsheets ‘Financial assessments for care and support other than in a care home’ and ‘Financial assessments for residential care’.

You can order these factsheets by contacting our Finance and Benefits Assessment team on 01323 464 699 or Health and Social Care Connect on 0345 60 80 191.

What is included in a financial assessment?

The financial assessment will look at:

  • your capital and assets, which includes property and land
  • any income you have such as pensions and benefits
  • any extra expenses you have because of a disability or condition, we call this disability-related expenses (DRE)

Property and land

We will not take the value of your property into account while you are living in it and receiving care and support in your own home.

However, if you are going into residential care or nursing care permanently, we may include the value of the property or land you own, including the house you live in.

If you own a second home, or other property or land, we will also include this as a capital asset.

We will provide more information about this during your financial assessment.

What you will need to provide

In most cases, we need supporting documents to evidence the information you provide. If you do not provide supporting documents, you may need to pay the full cost of your care until your assessment can be completed.

Once we have looked at your finances, we will explain:

  • your ‘client contribution’, the amount per week you need to pay towards your care and support
  • how we worked this out
  • the different ways you can pay your client contribution for care and support

We can also provide information and advice on how to apply for any state benefits you might be entitled to.

Other care you would need to pay for

Charges in day centres

There are fixed charges for meals at day centres and for transport to and from your home. These charges are on top of the contribution you pay for attending the day centre.

Meals in the community

We charge for our delivered meals service. Your financial assessment will determine if you are eligible. If you are assessed as needing to pay a client contribution, we will invoice you.

You will also need to pay for the cost of the meal itself – the provider you have chosen will invoice you for the cost of any meals you have.

If you go into permanent residential and nursing care

If you move from your home into a care home permanently, we will not take the equity held in the property into account for the first 12 weeks.

After this period, the equity in your property may be included in your capital. This may result in your financial assets exceeding £23,250 so you would need to pay the full cost of your care.

If the value of your home is included and our guidelines show you will have to pay the full cost of your care, we can talk you through the options available to you.

If the financial assessment has not been completed before you first go into residential or nursing care, you will be asked to pay a standard amount until your financial assessment is completed. Once we complete the financial assessment and confirm the actual amount you need to pay, your client contribution will be backdated to the date you went into the care home and you will need to pay the difference.

For more information, including when property is included, read our factsheet ‘Financial assessments for residential care’.

Short-term or respite residential care

If you are going to receive short-term or respite care in a residential care home, we may not be able to complete your financial assessment before your care starts or ends.

You will be asked to pay a standard amount until your financial assessment is complete. Once we confirm the amount you need to pay, your actual contribution will be backdated to the date you went into the care home.

For more information, read our factsheet ‘Financial assessments for residential care’.

If you don’t want to tell us about your financial circumstances

You don’t have to tell us about your finances. If you decide not to, or if for any reason we can’t complete a financial assessment, you will have to pay the full cost of your care and support from the date your care started.

Appeals process

Once your financial assessment is complete, if you think we have made a mistake, you can appeal the outcome of our decision. We will provide more information on this at the time of your financial assessment.

How to pay us

There are different ways you can pay for your care and support. The easiest way is by Direct Debit. You’ll find more information about how to pay on your invoice.

Make a complaint or give feedback about your experience of social care

We want to provide high quality services for everyone in East Sussex, so it’s always helpful when you tell us what you think.

If you want to make a complaint, a good start is to contact the person or team who has been involved in the situation you wish to complain about. They will try to sort things out quickly.

If you would rather speak to someone else contact our Complaints and Feedback Team to feedback a complaint, suggestion or compliment.

See Make a complaint or give feedback about adult social care and health services.

For more information about making comments or complaints please read our leaflet ‘Your feedback matters’.

If you want someone to make a complaint on your behalf, please also read our factsheet ‘Independent advocacy – someone to speak up for you’.

Getting involved

If you would like to be involved in shaping our services, we are always looking for new members to join the People Bank. The People Bank is a database of volunteers who have an interest in our services. Membership is voluntary and there are many ways you can be involved.

Once you have joined and told us how you’d like to be involved, the People Bank team will match you with available opportunities. For more information: 

Visit the People Bank webpage

Email: Adult Social Care Consultation team

Phone: 01273 481 565

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