Please go to our web page if you would like to know more about the proposed changes to charging for social care.
What is Fairer Charging?
Fairer Charging is a government policy which was introduced in October 2003.
What does it mean?
The policy explains to the council how to work out what adults can afford to pay towards the cost of the services they receive.
Will I have to pay?
Some people will be entitled to free services.
Some people will be asked to pay a weekly charge towards the cost of their care.
You will have an assessment to work out how much you can afford to pay towards the cost of your care.
Does everyone have to pay?
The government says you don’t have to pay if:
- You suffer from Creuzfeldt Jacob Disease
- You are subject to Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983
- You are under the age of 18 years
- Your services are provided as an integral part of a time limited package of intermediate care
- Your services are defined as continuing health care
- You use NHS funded sessional services
In addition, Walsall Council says you don’t have to pay if:
- You get help from the Independent Living Fund.
- You are a carer receiving services under the Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000.
Is an assessment needed?
If you choose not to have an assessment then you will be asked to pay the full amount towards your care. For more information about what you might have to pay contact the Specialist Debtors Team.
What happens when I am assessed?
A representative from Walsall Council will arrange to come and see you.
They will ask you to give them some information to help them work out what you should pay.
They will need to know:
- Your personal details
- Next of kin (spouse, children)
- Information about your benefits
- Bank statements
- Information about your pension
- Information about investments
- The cost of your housing (mortgage or rent payments)
- The cost of any disability related expenditure
What is disability related expenditure?
This means things you have to pay for because of your disability. These can only be taken into account if you receive what is called a qualifying benefit. If you have savings over the agreed limit you cannot claim any disability related expenditure.
The following things can be included as disability related expenditure:
- Excess heating costs
- Community alarms
- Excess metered water costs
- Special dietary requirements
- Gardening labour
- Extra loads of laundry
- Continence issues
- Special equipment maintenance
- Prescription charging
- Specialist holidays
- Mobility costs
- Extra personal care
- TV License
- Wear and tear of clothes and bedding
These are just examples. There may be other things which could be included.
What are qualifying benefits?
These are either disability living allowance or attendance allowance.
Are housing costs taken into consideration?
We deduct expenses in relation to:
- Mortgage interest payments unless covered by Income Support
Are there any other things the assessment looks at?
Yes the assessment looks at other things like:
- Savings and investments
- Any property you own but don’t live in
How is my payment worked out?
There is a 4 step process to work out what people pay toward the costs of their care:
Step 1 - We work out the user's weekly assessed income
We look at all the money you have coming in and then look at what you have to pay out for housing and disability related expenditure.
Step 2 – We work out what people need to live on each
We then work out what you need to live on each week by looking at what the basic government income levels are and we add a further 25% to this.
Step 3 - We work out the weekly cost of the user’s care
Then we look at what the cost of your care is each week including:
- Home care
- Day care
- Direct Payments
- Community Support packages
- Supporting People packages
Step 4 - We will work out what you can afford to pay
We calculate your weekly payment and tell you what you need to pay.
We will show you how we worked it out.
When do I find out what I have to pay?
You will not have to pay until you receive your first notification letter. This letter will tell you:
- How much to pay
- When to pay
- How to pay
- How we worked out your payment
How do I pay?
- At the Post Office - using the payment card which will be sent to you shortly.
- By cheque - payable to Walsall Council and sent to the address at the end of this leaflet.
- By Direct Debit
- By Payzone
What should I do if I disagree with the assessment or need more information?
There is a review and appeals policy. If you do not agree with the amount you have to pay you can ask for a review. You will have to make a request in writing telling us why you disagree. We will then get in touch with you.
If you have a review and you still do not agree with what you have to pay, you can ask for an appeal. You have to write to us and tell us why you want an appeal. We will then get in touch with you.
If you have any concerns contact us.
What should I do if my financial circumstances change?
If there are any changes to your benefits or income you must inform us so that we can work out your payment.
Contact details are provided below.
What happens if I don’t pay?
There is an arrears policy which will start if you do not pay.
If you get behind with payments you need to contact the Specialist Debtors Team on 01922 652765 and they will sort out a payment plan for you.
If you need more information or would like to see a copy of the policy please contact the Specialist Debtors Team on the number above.
Other helpful organisations
There are other organisations separate from the council that may also be able to help you. Their contact details are below.
Citizens Advice Bureau
Telephone 01922 700600
Telephone 01922 638825
Walsall Disability Centre
Telephone 01922 622227
Walsall Society for the Blind
Telephone 01922 627683
Walsall Deaf People’s Centre
Telephone 01922 614794
Telephone 0121 321 2377
Walsall Service Users Empowerment
Telephone 01922 644983
If you would like this information given to you in another way, for example in large print, Braille, in another language or on CD contact the public information officer on 01922 658368.
Specialist Debtors Team
Social Care and Inclusion
1st Floor Civic Centre
Telephone 01922 652765
Fax 01922 646350
Minicom 01922 652715
This page was last updated on 26 April 2013