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Last updated:
30/07/2018

What if I cannot afford the charges?

  1. Overview
  2. What is residential care and will I have to pay?
  3. What is capital and how will the local authority assess this?
  4. How will the local authority assess my income?
  5. What is the most I will have to pay?
  6. What are top-up fees?
  7. What are Deferred Payment Agreements (DPA)?
  8. The Mental Health Act and section 117 aftercare
  9. What if I cannot afford the charges?
  10. Next steps
If you feel you cannot afford the amount that the local authority is charging you, you should tell someone working at the local authority.

If you feel you cannot afford the amount that the local authority is charging you, you should tell someone working at the local authority. You should talk to the person who did your assessment. You can ask for a review of your situation.

If you do not pay the charges the local authority has asked you to pay, they may contact you asking you to explain why you have not paid. They may ask you to repay the money that is owed. It is important to explain your situation to them so that you can discuss options for repayment.

You may have problems around the local authority charging you. You can deal with problems informally or formally, and they should make sure you know how to appeal their decisions or complain if you want to.

Informal options

It is best to try and deal with the problem informally first. You can talk about your concerns with the professional who is in charge of your care plan. If you do not have a care plan you should contact the person who did the assessment. You can ask them to explain their decision or discuss your concerns.

It is best to try and deal with the problem informally first. You can talk about your concerns with the professional who is in charge of your care plan.

If you speak to someone keep a note of:

  • Who you spoke to
  • When you spoke to them, and
  • What you discussed

If you are under the Care Programme Approach (CPA), discuss any problems with your care coordinator or key worker.

Formal options

Complaints

If you want to complain you have to use the local authority’s (LA) complaints procedure.

Legal action

You should be able to deal with most problems informally or through the complaints procedure. However, if you feel that they are not following the law, you could get legal advice. You would need to speak to a community care solicitor.

You may get advice and representation depending on your situation. You may be entitled to legal aid but there are rules around this. Civil Legal Advice will tell you if you qualify for legal aid. They can give you information about local solicitors who accept legal aid. You can contact them on 0345 345 4 345. Or you can search for a solicitor online.

The information in this section is correct at the time of writing. You can find more information in the most recent version of the Care and Support Statutory Guidance October 2014. Local Authorities also have a duty to provide information and advice. 

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Within this subject

  1. Overview
  2. What is residential care and will I have to pay?
  3. What is capital and how will the local authority assess this?
  4. How will the local authority assess my income?
  5. What is the most I will have to pay?
  6. What are top-up fees?
  7. What are Deferred Payment Agreements (DPA)?
  8. The Mental Health Act and section 117 aftercare
  9. What if I cannot afford the charges?
  10. Next steps
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