Paying for care and support costs
If your disposable capital assets (any money you have that is not tied up in the home you live in) are more than £23,250 then you will not be entitled to financial assistance from Dorset Council. You will be expected to pay the full cost of any care you receive, usually directly to the provider of the care.
You are only entitled to financial assistance from the date you come to us requesting help. It’s your responsibility (or the responsibility of the person with authority to act for you) to ask for help at the time your capital drops below the upper capital limit of £23,250. Once you have completed the financial assessment and provided verification that you are entitled to help with care costs, we are only obliged to backdate funding to the date on which financial assistance was requested.
If your disposable capital assets are between £14,250 and £23,250 then you will be asked to make a contribution from your capital each week towards the cost of your care. This contribution is £1 for each £250 or part thereof.
Where your capital is less than £14,250, you will only be asked to contribute towards the cost of your care from your income.
Care at home (or short-term residential care)
If you receive care and support in your own home, the assessment officer will work out the maximum amount you will need to pay per week towards your care. We call this your financial contribution. Your financial contribution takes into account your income, capital (savings and other assets), household related expenditure and, if it applies, your agreed disability related expenditure (DRE).
You will be notified of the amount you need to pay in writing, showing you how it has been calculated. This should be received within 5 working days of the assessment taking place.
If you feel that there is a mistake on the assessment, you can ask to have it reviewed. This must be in the form of a written appeal to the Financial Assessment Team, within 28 days of your receipt of written confirmation of the proposed change.
You are obliged to inform the Financial Assessment Team of any changes to your capital, income and expenditure. The Financial Assessment Team reserves the right to backdate any increased charges which result from a change in financial circumstances that was not notified to the council.
By the time the financial assessment is completed, it is likely that you will have been provided with your indicative care budget. Your social care worker will then develop a support plan with you. This will help you to think about how you want to use your estimated care budget to get the care and support you need. The final personal budget, which could be higher or lower than the original indicative budget will be set once your support plan has been agreed. A personal budget is the money the council allocates you to meet your care and support needs. In order to get the right support, you can choose to employ your own staff, or you can buy the services from a private provider or a voluntary organisation.
Residential care or nursing home
If you will be going into (or are already in) a care home or nursing home, the assessment officer will calculate the amount you need to pay per week towards your care fees and you will be notified in writing, showing how the contribution has been calculated within five working days of the assessment taking place.
If you feel there is a mistake on the assessment you can ask to have it reviewed. This must be in the form of a written appeal to the Financial Assessment Team within 28 days of the written confirmation of the outcome of the assessment.
People who pay for their own care
We refer to you as a self-funder if you pay the full cost of your adult social care and support. That means you pay the whole bill for your home care, if you are living at home – or the whole bill for your residential or nursing care, if you are living in a care home. If we pay part of the bill and you pay part of the bill, we don’t refer to you as a self-funder and you don’t need to read this section.
Please read our information sheet for Self-Funders which explains further.
There are other services who can support a self-funder to find an appropriate Care Home:
Care Home Selection (CHS Healthcare Service) can support a self-funder to find an appropriate Care Home. The website outlines their nationwide, free and independent service finding home carers and care home availability. Alternatively contact them by telephone 0800 0087193 or Tracey Bolton (Co-ordinator Dorset and Hampshire) 07471 033823.
The Care Home Selection service is free to clients. CHS can support an individual and their family/representative to identify and find suitable care and support to enable someone to stay or return to their own home or to find suitable care home accommodation where this is needed. Following a health or social care assessment, CHS can work with the individual and/or their family to provide information, advice, and to search for suitable ongoing care and support. They are able to offer extensive support for those individuals or family members who need additional support to search for, negotiate and arrange the care required, whether that be in a person’s own home or in residential care. They will accompany relatives who are visiting care homes where this is needed and they liaise directly with the individual or the person’s representative as they find appropriate care.
Care provider information
Care Choices offer the Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and Dorset, Adult Care and Support Services Directory which includes:
There is more detail about paying for care costs in the following information sheets:
Self funding your care
Deferred Payment Agreement (DPA)
Deprivation of Assets
Money and people who lack capacity
Top ups and third party contributions
Information about the rules for gifting assets, produced by ‘Which?’.
You can search for independent financial advice on our directory