Fairer Charging Policy

Which services are covered by the Fairer Charging Policy?

This policy includes:

  • Personal care and support
  • Home care
  • Day opportunities - this includes all day centres
  • Transport
  • Direct payments
  • Personal budgets
  • Individual service funds

These services are covered by this policy, even if they are part of a Personal Budget or Individual Service Fund.

Which services are not included in the Fairer Contributions Policy?

The following services will continue to be provided free of charge:

  • Residential Intermediate Care Services for a maximum of 6 weeks
  • Re-ablement Services, for a maximum of 6 weeks
  • Community equipment and minor adaptations
  • Needs and Financial Assessments for Community Care Services
  • Provision of Information and Advice
  • Some services provided to carers
  • S117 After Care Services

The following services are excluded from the policy:

  • Residential Carer support services
  • Community meals
  • Respite services
  • Major adaptations 

How is my contribution worked out?

Your contribution is based on what you can reasonably afford to pay, not on how many services you receive. To work out what you can afford to contribute we look at your income and savings and your outgoings. If you have savings or investments of £23,250 or more, we will ask you to pay the full cost of the services we provide to you.

What income and savings are counted?

Only the person who is receiving the service needs to give us information about their income and savings (unless you are in receipt of a means tested benefit as a couple). If you do not want to give us your financial details, we will ask you to pay the full cost of the services we provide to you. Most forms of income are included such as Retirement Pension and Income Support. Some income such as Disability Living Allowance (Mobility), Child Benefit, Carers allowance and War Pensions (mobility element) are ignored. Some income such as War Disability and War Widows Pension are partly ignored. We ignore first £10 pw of War Disability and Widows Pension.

When we work out what you can afford, we must make sure that you have enough money left to live on. You will not be asked to contribute if your weekly income is assessed to be less than the minimum levels set by Department for Work & Pensions. Personal allowances vary depending on your circumstances, but the basic allowances for 2016/17 are:

Single £ Couples £
Under 25 57.90 18 up to state pension age 114.85
25 up to state pension age 73.10 State pension age 237.55
State pension age plus 155.60

The first £14,250 of total savings & investments will be disregarded. If your savings are above £14,250 and or your weekly income is higher than the levels set by Department for Work and Pensions you will be asked to contribute. The government provides information on benefits and allowances:

Charges for services

The current charges for care services are itemised in the following charges leaflet:

  • a reablement home care service - this lasts for up to a maximum of 6 weeks, and we will work out with you whether you need any home care services in the longer term
  • if you receive some types of mental health services and have been detained for treatment in Hospital for a long time under the Mental Health Act

How do I pay?

If you choose to take a Direct Payment and are financially assessed to be charged, an amount will be taken before your direct payment is given to you. In other cases we will send you your bill on a 4 weekly basis. You will have 14 days to make your payment from the date of each bill. Payment of these 4 weekly invoices can be made online, via a 24 hour telephone line, by bank payment, by cheque, by post or by obtaining a post office payment card. Full payment details are shown on the back of each invoice. 

What happens if I can't afford to pay?

We recognise that there may be exceptional circumstances which mean that some people will be unable to pay.  In such cases we would ask that you contact the Council’s Credit Control team on 01793 464668. The Credit Control Team will assist in developing a payment plan or are able to ask the Financial Assessments Team to review the assessed charges. You can also contact the Credit Control Team by post or email, but we prefer to discuss such matters by telephone in the first instance.

Credit Control 
Revenues & Benefits
Civic Offices
Euclid Street

Tel: 01793 464668
Email: creditcontrol@swindon.gov.uk

May I have to sell my house?

No, you will not have to sell the house you live in to pay for any community care services that you receive. However if you own any other land or property we will take the value of this into account. See Paying for residential and nursing home care for more information.

Helpful numbers

If you have any queries about the assessment of charges, which are not addressed on this page you can contact the Financial Assessment Team for more advice on 01793 463279. Enquiries about your care should be made to the Adult Social Care team. The Financial Assessment Team will answer any questions that you may have about your financial assessment and provide support to complete your financial assessment form.

Other useful numbers:
Invoice Queries on the dates care provided: 01793 465873
Difficulties making payment: 01793 464668