Text size:

Paying towards council support at home

'Care' or 'support' at home is any support or other service provided by the local council to enable someone to continue with their day to day life at home, and in their local community. The amount of support which you receive will be decided following an assessment by the council. The Requesting an assessment section of this site tells you how to request an assessment from your local council, and what to expect as part of this assessment 

Depending on your financial circumstances you may be asked to pay towards the cost of any care and support provided by the council.

This section gives you a simple explanation on how your ability to pay towards your care is decided. Your social worker can explain more about how things work, and your council has produced a much more detailed leaflet with everything you need to know (see the bottom of this page).

When your care and support needs are assessed by the council, you will also be asked to complete a financial assessment. This 'means' assessment will determine if, and how much, you should pay towards your care and support services. The assessment will only look at your individual means, not the means of any other family member - even if they are looking after your financial affairs on your behalf.

Things which the financial assessment will take into account

  • Most income, including most (but not all) kinds of state benefit, and any occupational or private pensions
  • Your savings and other financial assets above a certain level, as decided by the government (see below for more details)
  • The amount of care and support which the council has agreed to assist you in paying for
  • Your spending, including on some household bills and on things you have to pay for to assist you in managing your health problems

Things which the financial assessment will not take into account

When completing a financial assessment with you, the council will also assist you to check that you are receiving all of the benefits to which you are entitled.

Services you may be charged for

Following a financial assessment you may be asked to pay towards some or all of the following services:-

  • Personal and domestic care - includes hourly and 24 hour care packages, and support with shopping, laundry, cleaning, washing or bathing yourself, getting to or from bed, escorting outside
  • Care and support funded using Direct Payments
  • Community alarms (includes key holding service)
  • Support in getting out and about in your local area (e.g. day centres)
  • Meals services at home or meals at, for example, a day centre - you will always need to pay for these meals yourself

Services you won't be charged for

There are some services you will not be charged for, no matter what your financial circumstances. These include: 

  • Intermediate care
  • Reablement care (for up to 6 weeks)
  • NHS care and services such as GP and district nurse services, and NHS Continuing Healthcare at home
  • Mental Health Act (Section 117) after-care services following compulsory detention in hospital under the Mental Health Act
  • Equipment and adaptations in your home
  • Services for people with Creuzfeldt Jacob Disease (CJD)
  • Some services for carers where the carer receives the service provided in their own right

What services you pay for may depend on which council area you live in.

It is up to your local council to decide if and how much to charge, but they have limits. They must make sure that after you have paid towards your care your income doesn't drop below the basic level of Income Support plus 25%, or, if you are over 60, your income should not fall below the basic level of Income Support including a pension premium, or below the basic Pensions Guarantee Credit plus 25%.

If you have assets of more than £23,250 you will be expected to pay the full cost of your care. However you will still be able to keep any benefits you receive, such as your state pension and or any disability benefits, to help pay for those costs.

If your savings are below £23,250, the amount you have to pay is worked out according to government rules, based on your regular income and savings between £14,250 and £23,250. Your council will pay the difference, up to the maximum that is decided according to your level of need.

If you want to discuss your current care charges and the financial assessment process (including if you are not happy with what you are being asked to pay or are struggling to pay) then you can contact your council's finance / charging team as follows:-


  • To speak to someone about Assessed charges contact:

    Address: Charging Team to residential and Home care Financial Assessment Team, 12th Floor West, City Hall, London, SW1E 6QP
    Tel: 0207 641 2820.

  • To speak someone about invoices contact:

    Address : Income collection Team, 16th Floor, City Hall, London SW1E 6QP
    Tel: 0207 641 8978
    Email :

Westminster have produced a leaflet on Non-Residential Contribution Policy.

Kensington and Chelsea

Address: Financial Assessment Team, Purple Zone, 3rd Floor, Purple Zone, Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, W8 7NX
Tel: 020 7361 2324

Kensington and Chelsea have produced a leaflet on Non-Residential Contribution Policy.


Age UK provide a leaflet which gives details of which state benefits and other income, and what level of savings, will be considered by the local council when they assess your ability to pay towards the cost of your support. The information on finances in this leaflet applies to adults of all ages.

The Department of Health also provides a detailed leaflet of how councils should conduct financial assessments and apply their charging policies.

The Money Helper website offer information on how local councils may fund your care.

The Which website offers advice on how your local council may be able to assist with paying towards care in your home.

The Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) provide a database of financial advisors who specialise in giving advice on finances in later life, enabling you to plan ahead or to make the most of your money once you reach retirement and older age. All advisors on the database have to prove that they meet appropriate criteria and have the right qualifications before they are accredited by SOLLA.

The Housing Care website offers advice on all aspects of Paying for care in your own home.

The Which website offers advice on paying for care at home.


If you would like to receive independent advice on accessing care and support, benefits, legal issues, housing,  your rights as a carer, and a range of other issues, then you can contact the WestminsterCAB

Last updated: 23/07/2021