Frequently asked questions about charging in Northamptonshire

Find out more about charging in Northamptonshire.

If you have questions about paying for social care in Northamptonshire, this page should be able to help you.

Do I have to pay for my services?
Yes, in most cases you will have to pay something towards the cost of the social care services provided to you.

My social care practitioner says my care is fully funded. Do I still have to pay?
Yes you do. This means the Council will pay the provider the whole cost of the service you are receiving, but you will still need to pay your contribution towards this. The Council will send you regular invoices for the amount you have been assessed to pay; therefore you will not be required to pay the provider directly.

How will I be told how much I have to pay?
Normally before your service starts, the Council will ask you for information about your financial circumstances – you will be given a Financial Assessment Form to complete or, on request, the Revenue and Assessment team will visit and complete it with you. As soon as the Council have all the information needed they will carry out a financial assessment and give you written details of exactly how much you are being asked to pay. The Council will indicate any benefits you may be entitled to when they have completed a welfare benefit check.

What if I think I have been asked to pay too much?
When you are sent your letter explaining how much you have to pay and how this has been worked out, you will also be sent a copy of the Council’s Appeals Procedure. This explains how you can appeal against your charge. If you have any queries when you have read this procedure, please contact the helpline number: 01604 366721 for more information on how to appeal.

What happens if I don’t get the benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that you say I should pay towards my weekly charge?

In the first instance you will need to make a claim to the DWP for the benefits the Council has indicated you are entitled to. If you are unsuccessful in your claim for any benefits they have indicated please contact the Revenue and Assessment Officer or telephone the helpline number helpline number: 01604 366721 and they will be able to advise you. You will need to provide them with a copy of the letter from the DWP.

Will the weekly contributions change?
The amount you pay may change due to changes in the law, changes in your financial circumstances e.g. benefit increases, or changes in the amount charged by the provider. The Council usually reviews your charges each year but you can request a review at any time if your
financial circumstances change.

Can I give my money to members of the family?
Reasonable gifts to family members in line with previously established custom and practice, for instance birthday or wedding gifts, can still be made. However, capital or assets transferred with the intention of reducing or avoiding the need for you to pay for care will be taken into account during the financial assessment.

If I have to go into permanent care and I own my own home, do I have to sell it?
The Council will not make you sell your house but if you meet their eligibility criteria and your capital is below the £23,250 capital limit, you will have the first twelve weeks of your stay where they do not consider the value of your house as part of your assessment. This is to give you time to decide how you want to pay for the full cost from week thirteen. Please note you will still have to pay an assessed financial contribution during this period. You will need to refer to the section ‘Deferred Payment Agreements’ on page 41.

What is the Personal Expenses Allowance?
This is the amount the Government says you are allowed to keep from your pension to spend on your own personal needs if you are in residential care. The Council does not take this into account when working out how much you have to pay for your care. In 2013/14 it stands at £23.90 per week.

When you complete the welfare benefit check on my behalf, how will I know if I am entitled to more benefits and who will let me know?
The Council will tell you if they think you should get more benefits, or if there should be a change to your benefits. The Council will advise how these can be claimed and who to speak to for information to help with your claim.