Social Care

Social Care

Social Care

It is important to understand that Health and Social Care are not the same thing. Healthcare is provided free by the NHS for a health or nursing need and Social Care is assessed by the Local Authority (otherwise known as the Council, Social Services, Adult Social Care) and means tested.

There are services that the Council must provide free of charge including the assessments, safeguarding services and some short- term support but usually the person requiring ongoing care will need a financial assessment and be required to make a contribution if they can afford to.

The Care Act 2014 is the legal framework for Social Care in England. It is supported by the Care and Support Regulations and Statutory Guidance which came into force on 1st April 2015.

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A Local Authority has the discretion to choose whether or not to charge following a care needs assessment but apart from some services which must be provided for free, ongoing Adult Social Care (unlike NHS services) is usually means tested. When a Local Authority charges for care and support services they must follow the Care and Support (Charging and Assessment of Resources) regulations and have regard to the Care and Support Statutory Guidance.

Personal Budget

Social Care

The care and support planning process will determine what type of care will best suit the person’s needs and how those needs are being or to be met. The personal budget is the cost to the local authority of meeting the person’s needs and not necessarily the actual cost of privately arranged care and support. For people who are not ‘self-funding’ their care, a Personal Budget may be paid as a Direct Payment to enable choice of provider rather than a service that is commissioned by the Local Authority.

Financial Assessment – Common Elements

The following rules apply to financial assessment for both residential care and care at home; Residents with over £23,250 savings/capital will meet the full costs of their care and are considered able to pay for their own care in full.

Residents with between £14,250 and £23,250 will make a contribution from their savings/capital as a tariff income of £1.00 for every £250 or part of, a contribution from income will also be assessed

Residents with Savings/Capital below £14,250 will not make a contribution from capital, but a contribution from income will be assessed.

Care At Home

Social Care

Because a person who receives care and support outside a care home will need to pay their daily living costs charging rules ensure they have enough money to meet these costs. For care at home, after charging a person must be left with the appropriate Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG).

Care in a Care/Nursing home

You will retain a Personal Expenses Allowance, currently £25.65 per week. If the Local Authority allows you to defer paying for your care against the value of a property, used as security (Deferred Payment Agreement), you may keep up to £144 per week. Please ask us to explain these rules to you as they do not apply to everyone who owns a house.

Remember it is an individual’s care need being assessed and so an individual’s ability to contribute towards the cost that will be financially assessed, any joint savings will be halved a financial assessment.

If you spend or give away an asset or do not claim an income or benefit entitlement available to you and the Local Authority and/or DWP decide that this was done with a deliberate intention to avoid paying for your care or access a benefit entitlement then they may treat you as still owning or having it and the financial assessment can include the amount as notional income/capital.

If you would like some help to understand how a Local Authority assessment works, how they can help or charge for care please get in touch.

Call us 0800 999 25 27 or use the Contact Us Page


If you are making a trust specifically to avoid paying for care then that asset may still be included in a financial assessment and you may be treated as a 'self-funder'. The Local Authority have 'Deprivation of Asset' rules which may or may not apply to a gift, depending on the type of asset, timing and intent of the gift. Please get in touch if you would like to understand how this may affect you.

Often a property will be disregarded from a financial assessment and it is important to get advice before selling your main or only asset. Please get in touch if you would like to understand your Care and Housing options.

If you don't agree with a decision the first action would be to ask them to look at  the decision again. Get as much evidence as possible (and relevant) and if you would like some advice before challenging a decision please get in touch

Social Care applies throughout the UK, the main differences are how you are assessed as eligible and how much any responsible authority will contribute.

In England, Wales and Scotland it is the Local Authority that is responsible for 'Social Care' . The funding levels are different but all will require an assessment of eligible care needs.

England Scotland Wales N Ireland
 14’250 - £23’250 £18'000 - £28’750

Free personal and nursing care for those assessed with eligible needs

In Scotland permanent care costs are split into Care, Nursing and Hotel costs. The Hotel cost is means tested.


£50'000 (Residential care)

£100 cap for Domiciliary care


£14’250 - £23’250




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