The Council is currently considering whether to change the way it charges residents who are provided with Adult Social Care Services following the introduction of The Care Act 2014. The services potentially affected are:
- Non-residential – This affects anyone living in the community (this covers personal care, domestic care, sitting services, direct payments, day care etc.)
- Residential – This affects anyone receiving respite care or living in (or going into) a care home.
The Care Act 2014 set new guidelines for charging, and required local authorities to have different charging policies depending on whether someone is receiving care in a care home, or their own home or another setting. Following requirements to review our policies for charging individuals for care and support, we now have an opportunity to review and consult on proposed changes to these policies.
One of the principles of the Care Act is to provide local authorities with a single legal framework for charging a person for their care and support. It allows local authorities to decide whether or not to charge a person when it is arranging to meet a person’s care and support needs or a carer’s support needs.
The new framework is intended to make charging fairer and more clearly understood by everyone. The overarching principle is that people should only be required to pay what they can afford. People will be entitled to financial support based on a means-test and some will be entitled to free care.
Where Darlington Borough Council arranges care and support to meet a person’s needs, we will look a person’s income, savings and expenditure to determine if a person is required to pay towards their care and support needs, this is called a financial assessment. When completing the financial assessment Darlington Borough Council will ensure that people are not charged more than it is reasonably practicable for them to pay.
Darlington Borough Council must ensure that a person is left with a minimum income guarantee plus an extra 25%, in addition to this we will take into account other allowable expenditure such as rent, council tax, disability-related expenditure etc.
Darlington Borough Council will contact the person or their legal representative to collect this information, this may be done in a number of ways, for example a home visit or a telephone call. Once a person’s contribution has been established they will be notified in writing of this amount, if any.
For more information can be found on Darlington Borough Council website.