This policy is approved by Brighton and Hove City Council and is compliant with The Care Act 2014, Care Act Regulations and Guidance. The aim is to provide a consistent and fair framework for assessing and charging all service users following an assessment of individual needs, and individual financial circumstances. The policy applies to all service users equitably.
Section 14 of The Care Act 2014 provides councils with a power to charge for meeting a person’s eligible needs in a single legal framework. Section 17 of The Care Act requires local authorities to undertake an assessment of financial resources. This will determine the amount a person should pay towards the cost of providing for their needs for care and support whether provided to people living in their own home or in a care home.
Some of the assessment rules for residential care differ from non-residential but many are the same.
The policy for non-residential services was originally formulated in December 2002 under consultation with service users and their carers. This has been revised to take account of the requirements of the Care Act 2014 and subsequent amendments.
For the purposes of this policy, an adult is a person aged 18 or over and whose eligible needs are being met through Adult Social Care funding.
In SH v Norfolk County Council  EWHC 3426, the High Court decided that Norfolk’s charging policy unlawfully discriminated against severely disabled people in the enjoyment of their benefits income. SH was of working age and her income comprised the highest rates of (severe) disability benefits. The national charging regulations expressly disregard earnings but do not disregard most disability benefits. Norfolk applied the minimum allowances against SH’s income as prescribed by DHSC, which led to higher charges. It is open to councils to give higher allowances so that people are left with more of their income after charging. The decision of the High Court in this case is not binding on other councils but BHCC has taken the opportunity to review its own Charging Policy in light of it.
BHCC cannot amend the DHSC regulation to disregard income from severe disability benefits. That is a national requirement. However, BHCC does make a more generous allowance to people of working age which is above the minimum allowances prescribed by DHSC. BHCC also provides for a bespoke Disability Related Expenditure Assessment which looks at necessary additional expenditure particularly related to disability and provides for further allowances in appropriate circumstances so that charges are reduced. For these reasons no material changes are considered necessary to the BHCC charging policy.
The services included for this financial assessment policy are:
- Home Care
- Day Care, Day Activities
- Community Support / outreach services
- Intermediate and reablement care after 6 weeks
- Direct Payments / Personal Budgets for any services
- Money Advice and money management services
- Supported Accommodation
- Shared Lives Schemes
- Extra Care Housing care services
- Residential Care including Nursing Homes
- Carelink alarm systems
- Adaptations over £1,000
People in Shared Lives and Supported Accommodation schemes, including Extra Care Housing, in addition to any assessed care and support charge, will also be responsible for rent, food and utilities from their own income, often with Housing Benefit or universal credit.
Services excluded from charges are:
- all daily living equipment
- adaptations under £1,000
- services provided under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act, “after care” services
- Intermediate Care and Reablement Services for up to 6 weeks
- any Care funded under Continuing Health Care by the Health Authority
- care and support provided to people with Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease
- assessments of care needs and care planning
Care and Support for Carers
There is no charge to carers for any services provided directly to them during 2022/23. This policy will be kept under review. Where services are provided directly to the service user to meet their eligible care needs, in order to provide the carer with support, the service user will be charged in accordance with this policy.