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Last updated:
16/11/2017

How do I pay for social care?

How will the local Trust pay me?

  1. Overview
  2. What is social care?
  3. When can the Trust charge me for non-residential services?
  4. I am a carer; will the Trust charge me?
  5. What if I cannot afford the charges?
  6. How can I deal with problems about charges?
  7. What are direct payments?
  8. Can I get direct payments?
  9. How will the local Trust pay me?
  10. What can I spend direct payments on?
  11. What are important things to know about managing Direct Payments?
  12. When will my direct payments end?
  13. Next steps

Your local Trust will pay your direct payments into your bank or building society account – you may find it beneficial to set up a different account so it is easier to see how much you have left.   

Some local Trusts have schemes, such as ‘pre-paid cards’, which they can tell you about after your assessment.

How much will I get?

This depends where you live and what support you need. Your care coordinator or social services will look at your social care needs and they will have a way to work out how much money you need to meet these needs. How much you get is called your ‘personal budget’, and there must be enough money in your personal budget for you to buy services that will meet your needs. 

Your care coordinator or social services will look at your social care needs and they will have a way to work out how much money you need to meet these needs.

Will I have to pay towards my direct payments?

Depending on how much money you have, social services may ask you to pay for some of your services, which is called ‘charging for care’.

Your care coordinator or social services will do a financial assessment to decide if you have to pay for residential care. They will look at your income, savings, and any property you own. If you have to pay anything, your Trust will take this money from your direct payments or ask you to pay them back. The community care in NI is mostly free of charge, but you may be charged for the ‘home help’ scheme and it the cost of this will depend on your income and capital.

What if I would like expensive services?

Your direct payments should be enough to buy a service that meets your needs. If the service costs more than your direct payments, you will need to pay the difference.   

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Within this subject

  1. Overview
  2. What is social care?
  3. When can the Trust charge me for non-residential services?
  4. I am a carer; will the Trust charge me?
  5. What if I cannot afford the charges?
  6. How can I deal with problems about charges?
  7. What are direct payments?
  8. Can I get direct payments?
  9. How will the local Trust pay me?
  10. What can I spend direct payments on?
  11. What are important things to know about managing Direct Payments?
  12. When will my direct payments end?
  13. Next steps
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