Leaflet: What you will need to pay


How we work out what you have to pay towards your care and support.

April 2023 (IL02)

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Information and advice is always free

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

You can ask for a social care needs assessment which is free of charge. This 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.

When you have to pay

If your social care needs assessment identifies that you are eligible for some support from us, it’s likely you will need to pay towards that support. Most people pay some or all of the costs of their care.

The amount you will pay will depend on your circumstances. We work out how much you will pay by carrying out a financial assessment. We call the amount that you pay your ‘client contribution’.

If Adult Social Care and Health (ASCH) arranges your care and support, you will be required to pay from the date your care starts. You will need to pay your contribution first and then the Council pays the remaining costs.

If your care and support starts before your financial assessment is completed, we will try to complete your financial assessment promptly so that any charges you incur are not backdated for significant periods of time.

How the assessment process works

After your social care needs assessment you will be told what your personal budget is. This is the total amount it might cost to meet your eligible care and support needs. The budget includes the amount you are assessed as able to contribute yourself (your client contribution).

At this point, you will be offered a financial assessment. The type of financial assessment you will have depends upon the type of care you are going to receive.

Our factsheets ‘Financial assessments for care and support other than in a care home’ and ‘Financial assessments for residential care’ provide full information on how we assess you.

These factsheets are available 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 capital?

Throughout this leaflet we will use the term ‘capital’ to describe financial assets (savings or investments) or the financial value of assets. This includes cash and funds held in savings or current accounts, buildings, property and land, Premium Bonds, stocks and shares and any investments or trust funds that you have, as well as capital held in 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. When your capital and assets fall below £23,250 you can ask us to review the amount you pay.
  • 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.

You can use the financial eligibility checker on our website to find out if you are likely to pay for your care.

Your financial assessment

A financial assessment can be completed in a number of ways. We may contact you to discuss the best way for you. We may send you a link to our Online Financial Calculator so you can submit your financial information online. In some cases, we may be able to complete your financial assessment without needing to contact you. If we can do this, we will write to you to confirm your ‘client contribution’.

What is included in a financial assessment?

The financial assessment will look at:

  • your capital and assets
  • any investments and property, including land you own
  • any income you have such as pensions and benefits
  • any extra expenses you have because of a disability or condition. We called 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 require supporting documents to evidence the information you provide. We will need to verify the information that you give to us.

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.

If you do not provide supporting documents to verify your financial situation, you may be required to pay the full cost of your care until your assessment can be completed.

We can also provide information and advice on how you can 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 service

We charge for our delivered meals service. A financial assessment will be required to check eligibility. 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 client 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 to pay is by Direct Debit. You’ll find more information about how to pay on your invoice.

If you want to make a complaint, comment or suggestion about 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 give us any feedback including suggestions or compliments.

Adult Social Care Complaints and Feedback Team
East Sussex County Council
County Hall
St Anne’s Crescent

Phone: 01273 481 242

Text message: 07797 877 777

Email:  ASC Complaints and Feedback team

Twitter: twitter@eastsussexcc
Facebook: www.facebook.com/eastsussexcc

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

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 be able to match you with opportunities when they are available. For more information: 

Visit: the People Bank

Email: Adult Social Care Consultation team

Phone: 01273 481 565

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