When your local authority provides care and support, it might charge you for this if it decides that you have the money to contribute towards the cost of your services. 

How the local authority decides how much you could pay

Your local authority must do a financial assessment which will say how much you have to pay to the local authority towards the cost of your care and support. The assessment will look at two things: your income and your living costs.

Assessment of your income

First the council will look at any income you have, such as disability benefits. Many things cannot be included as income, such as: 

  • the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment
  • money paid for night-time care
  • money you earn from working (this is so they don’t prevent disabled people from working)
  • your family members’ incomes – only yours can be assessed.

Full list of benefits and other income that the local authority cannot take into account when calculating what charges you should pay (see annex C).

The local authority will also look at any assets you have, such as savings or if you own any property:

  • If you have savings of over £14,250, the local authority might take that into account when calculating your income. They will count you as having £1 of weekly income for every £250 over £14,250 that you have.
  • If you have savings of £23,250 or more you may have to pay the full costs of services.
  • If you own property, it should only be taken into account if you do not live there.
  • They cannot ask your family to meet the costs of charges, even if you live with your family.

Assessment of your living costs

When the local authority has worked out what your income is, they must then assess what your living costs are, such as rent and bills.

If you live at home with your family and contribute towards housing costs, make the local authority aware of what you pay. Some local authorities may take this into account, as they would for rent or mortgage costs if you lived on your own.

When looking at outgoings the council must consider all “disability related expenditure”. Disability related expenditure is any reasonable item or adjustment needed for a disabled person to live independently.

Examples of disability related expenditure:

  • Costs of any privately arranged care services, including respite care.
  • Costs of any special items caused by a disability – for example:
    • above average gas/electricity/water costs, for example because of the need to wash bedding more often or the need to keep the house at a warmer temperature
    • special clothing or footwear, for example where this needs to be specially made, or additional wear and tear to clothing and footwear caused by disability
    • special washing powders or laundry
    • additional costs of bedding, for example because of incontinence
    • costs of basic cleaning, garden maintenance or other domestic help, if needed because of disability and not met by social services
    • personal assistance costs, including household or other necessary costs for the individual
    • additional costs of special dietary needs due to disability
    • purchase, maintenance and repair of disability related equipment, this may include computer costs where necessitated by the disability
    • transport costs needed because of disability, including costs of transport to and from day centres, where this costs more than the mobility component of DLA and is not provided by social services.

Your local authority might use a set amount to cover disability related expenditure, but if you think what you spend on disability related costs is higher than that set amount, you should say this.

Once the local authority has worked out your income and your living costs, it has an amount of money 'left over', from which you could be asked to pay charges for your care and support.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

We've created some FAQs to help answer some of the questions you might have about paying for support.

Click the questions below to reveal each answer:


Useful resources

We've created the following factsheets to help you with the benefits application, Care Act assessment and follow-up process:

  • Delays in receiving benefits (PDF, 52 KB) - this factsheet explains the options that may be available to you whilst you're waiting for your first payment.
  • Mandatory reconsiderations (PDF, 48 KB)  - this factsheet explains what to do if you wish to challenge a benefit decision.
  • Reasonable adjustments (PDF, 425 KB) - this factsheet explains what changes should be made by the Job Centre and DWP for people with a learning disability who are looking to claim benefits.
  • What happens next (PDF, 367 KB) - this factsheet sets out what should happen after your Care Act assessment.
  • Reviews and new assessments (PDF, 219 KB) - this factsheet is for people who already receive care and support through a package of social care and what they can expect from the review and assessment process.
  • Direct payments (PDF, 72 KB) - this factsheet explains how people with a learning disability and their families can receive direct payments to arrange their social care support themselves.

How to get the support you need

Contact the Learning Disability Helpline, our advice and support line, for guidance and information about what support we can offer you.

Or why not take a look at our online community ? This is a place for parents and family carers of people with a learning disability to share experiences, advice and support.

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