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Last updated:
20/11/2017

When can the local authority charge me for non-residential services?

  1. Overview
  2. What is social care?
  3. When can the local authority charge me for non-residential services?
  4. What is a financial assessment?
  5. Self-Directed Support
  6. Will I have to pay for compulsory treatment services?
  7. I’m a carer; will the local authority charge me?
  8. What if I cannot afford the charges?
  9. How can I deal with problems about charges?
  10. Can I get a Direct Payment or SDS payment?
  11. How will the local authority pay me?
  12. What can I spend SDS payment on?
  13. What are my responsbilities?
  14. When will my SDS payments end?
  15. I'm a carer; can I get SDS payments?
  16. Next steps

This section covers:

  • Which services can the local authority charge me for?
  • How much can the local authority charge me?
  • How will the local authority treat my income and savings?
  • How will I find out about charges?

What services can the local authority charge me for?

Councils have the power to charge for a range of adult non-residential social care services, including:

  • Care at home,
  • Day care,
  • Lunch clubs,
  • Meals on wheels,
  • Wardens in sheltered housing,
  • Community alarms and telecare,
  • Laundry services,
  • Aids and adaptations,
  • Aftercare services for people with a mental illness, and
  • Care and support services for those who have or have had a mental illness.

This does not mean that your local authority will charge for any given service, as every local authority will make its own decisions. However, please be aware that most local authorities will charge for these kinds of services.

There are services that local authorities cannot charge for, such as:

  • Criminal justice Social Work services,
  • Information and advice about social care services,
  • A needs assessment,
  • Care management,
  • Intermediate care, including re-ablement, for up to 42 days for people coming out of hospital, or
  • Nursing Care and personal care for people over 65.

The following people cannot be charged for services:

  • People with a mental illness who are subject to a Compulsory Treatment Order or Compulsion Order,
  • People aged over 65 just receiving personal care, or
  • People who are terminally ill.

How much can the local authority charge me?

There is no standard charge for social care services in Scotland. Local authorities have their own way of doing financial assessments but they have to make sure the way they do the financial assessment is:

  • Accessible,
  • Transparent, and
  • Fair.

They should not charge anyone more than they can afford to pay.

The local authority needs to make sure that everyone should have a minimum amount you need to live on and this minimum amount should be the standard rate of Income Support or Guarantee Pension Credit plus a minimum buffer of 25%.

In 2016 – 2017, the standard weekly rate of income support for single people aged 25 and over is £73.10 and for under 25s, it’s £57.90. For couples, the weekly level is £114.85. Weekly pension credit is £159.35 for a single person and £243.25 for a couple.

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Within this subject

  1. Overview
  2. What is social care?
  3. When can the local authority charge me for non-residential services?
  4. What is a financial assessment?
  5. Self-Directed Support
  6. Will I have to pay for compulsory treatment services?
  7. I’m a carer; will the local authority charge me?
  8. What if I cannot afford the charges?
  9. How can I deal with problems about charges?
  10. Can I get a Direct Payment or SDS payment?
  11. How will the local authority pay me?
  12. What can I spend SDS payment on?
  13. What are my responsbilities?
  14. When will my SDS payments end?
  15. I'm a carer; can I get SDS payments?
  16. Next steps
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