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How we calculate the assessed charge
There are two types of charge:

Non-residential (also known as domiciliary)

We calculate your financial assessment by taking into account your income, capital / savings and certain expenditure (in particular expenses relating to housing costs and your disability) and the value of any second property you own. This makes sure your assessed charge is based on your ability to pay.

Income

You must declare all your income including benefits, pensions, private pensions, rental income from property or land you own, and any other source of income you receive. Some benefits and sources of income are partially or totally disregarded within the financial assessment including war pensions and earnings. 
The Department of Health tells us how much of your income should be protected within the financial assessment. This age-related amount makes sure you’re able to pay for essential household expenses such as food, utilities, TV, satellite, internet and day-to-day items such as toiletries and newspapers*.

Housing expenses

Your expenses relating to your housing costs are taken into consideration once we have seen the verification of these costs, however some are covered by the amount of your income which is protected in the Financial Assessment (* please see above)

Disability related expenses

We will look to take into consideration any daily living expenses you have which are related to your disability, once verified. Your social worker must confirm to us these expenses are linked directly to your disability and are over and above care funded by Essex County Council. Without this confirmation the expenses will not be considered as part of the financial assessment.

Capital / savings

 If your capital / savings exceed £23,250, you will need to pay the full cost of the services you receive. 
If your capital/savings are below the full cost threshold of £23,250, the first £14,250 will be disregarded.  We then assume a tariff income of £1 per week for every £250 (or part) on everything after £14,250. This is not meant to represent interest earned but a reasonable usage of income derived from your capital / savings.
The value of any second property you own (such as a holiday home) is taken into account for all types of care and the value of that property will be included as savings under 'Notional Capital'.

Calculation

We total income and capital/ savings, and then deduct your allowable expenses and your ‘protected income’. This calculates your assessed charge. Don’t forget, this is a weekly amount.
If a visiting officer completes your financial assessment and all the information is available and verified, you will be told what your provisional assessed charge is during the visit.
If you have chosen to complete the financial assessment form yourself, then your assessed charge will be calculated by us and we’ll send you a notification letter as soon as possible. Your assessed charge will apply from the start of your care (Day 1). 
Please note: If a Financial Assessment has not been completed to determine how much you must contribute towards your care by the time you start receiving services, you will be invoiced for the cost of those services (see charges). Once your assessed charge is known your invoice will be adjusted.

What you will pay

If you’re having services provided by Essex County Council, you will not be asked to pay more than your maximum weekly assessed charge and you will be charged for the services you receive up to that amount. However, this means if your health causes you to need additional support, the cost of the services may increase but you will not be charged any more than you can afford. For more information, visit our non-residential charges page.
Invoices will be sent to you or your named representative every four weeks.

What happens if you go into hospital? 

When / if you go into hospital you should not be receiving any domiciliary care services and therefore will not be invoiced for care you are not receiving.

Other information

If you receive a cash payment to arrange your own care with the assistance and support of your social care worker, your assessed charge will be deducted from your payment, so your payment is made net. You are expected to pay your weekly Assessed Charge towards any services agreed within the Direct Payment.
If you prefer not to disclose your finances, we will treat you as having sufficient savings and capital to pay for the full cost of any services you receive.
If money, savings, capital or assets are given away to reduce or avoid paying for care fees, known as Deprivation of Assets, then the money, savings, capital or asset will be taken into account as Notional Capital within the financial assessment. Reasonable gifts, such as birthday presents to family members, are acceptable. 
A Domicilary finacial factsheet will be sent to you with the outcome of your assessment, to help explain the calculation of your assessed charge. 

Please note: If a Financial Assessment has not been completed to determine how much you must contribute towards your care by the time you start receiving services, you will be invoiced for the cost of those services (see charges). Once your assessed charge is known your invoice will be adjusted.
We calculate your financial assessment by taking into account your income, capital / savings, some living expenses and any property / land you own.
The value of your home if you own the property is taken into account if you're receiving permanent residential / nursing support, not for short-term breaks, intermediate or short-term placements. We will ignore your property for the first 12 weeks of your permanent placement when calculating the financial assessment.
The value of any second property you own is taken into account for all types of residential care.

Income

You must declare all income including benefits, pensions, private pensions, rental income from property or land you own and any other source of income you receive. Some benefits and sources of income are partially or totally disregarded including the first £5.75 of any Savings Credit you receive and some elements of War Pensions.

Capital savings

If your capital, savings or property exceeds £23,250 you’ll be assessed to pay the full cost of the services you receive. 
If you have less than £23,250 and are unable to meet the full cost of the home then we’ll provide assistance with your payments.
If residential support is the only way to meet your needs, the first £14,250 will be disregarded. We then assume a tariff income of £1 per week for every £250 (or part) on everything above £14,250. This is not meant to represent interest earned but a reasonable usage of income derived from your capital / savings.
The value of any second property you own (such as a holiday home) is taken into account for all types of care and the value of that property will be included as savings under 'Notional Capital'.

Expenses

If your financial assessment is for Respite, Temporary or the first 12 weeks of Permanent care (only where we are taking your property into account); you may be entitled to some housing expenses. We will only include these if we have seen the verification of costs.

Calculation

Once income, capital / savings and allowable expenses have been considered, your assessed charge will be calculated and you'll be left with your personal allowance of £24.90 as set by the Department of Health.
If after deducting your personal allowance your assessed charge is higher than the rate set by us for services, you'll not be eligible for financial assistance.
If a visiting officer completes your financial assessment and all the information is available and verified, you’ll be advised of your provisional assessed charge during the visit.
If you've chosen to complete the financial assessment form yourself, your assessed charge will be calculated by us. In each case your confirmation of charge / notification letter will be sent to you as soon as possible. Your assessed charge will apply from the first day of your placement.
 

What you will pay

Invoices will be sent to you or your named representative every month.
Where you own a property that is your home, there is a deferred payment scheme for those eligible under the county council's criteria. Please contact the Income Property Team for more information.

What happens if you go into hospital? 

When / if you go into hospital you will remain liable for your contribution towards the cost of your bed in the residential home. However, if your hospital stay exceeds six weeks, Essex County Council will take on payments for your bed (up to the council rate, not any top-ups paid by a third party) until you are fit to be discharged back into your accommodation.

Other information

If the county council does agree to pay towards the cost of your care home and you choose to enter accommodation which charges more than our contracted rate, 'top up fees' are possible and can be discussed with your social worker. You could check whether a relative or other person is in a position to pay an additional contribution towards your care home costs. This arrangement, known as a 'third-party top-up', means that you could potentially live in a care home which costs more than the county council would be able to pay. However, your relative is under no obligation to do this, and it does not affect whether or not the county council will agree to pay towards a care home placement for you. You should also note that if the top-up is not maintained you may have to move to a care home that is within the county council's usual rate.
If you prefer not to disclose your finances, we will treat you as having sufficient savings and capital to pay for the full cost of any services you receive.
If money, savings, capital or assets are given away to reduce or avoid paying for care fees, known as Deprivation of Assets, they will be taken into account as Notional Capital within the financial assessment. Reasonable gifts, such as birthday presents to family members are acceptable.
A Residential financial factsheet will be sent to you with the outcome of your assessment to help explain your calculation of your assessed charge.