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Paying for services

Paying for services
 
Local authorities assess people living in their area to determine if they need care and support services. If the local authority agrees that a person needs support then it can arrange for this to be provided in some way.
 
It is often assumed that services are free. There are some services – especially personal care for older people - that the authority cannot charge for. However, local authorities do have the power to charge people for most care and support services and people are expected to make a personal contribution towards the cost of the care and support services they receive. Key points to remember are:
  • the charges must be fair;
  • you should not be asked to pay more than you can afford;
  • your local authority must publish clear information about its charges and how it works out your personal contribution;
  • your local authority has the power to reduce the amount it asks you to pay, or cancel it altogether; and
  • your local authority can ask for a personal contribution only from the adult who gets the service. It cannot ask parents to pay a contribution for any support that an adult son or daughter gets, even if they live in the family home.
For more information about charging and how the council works out what someone pays see our factsheet Local council charging policies for non-residential social care services.
 
If you think that your local authority's charges are unfair you may want to take action about this. You will find suggestions for action in this factsheet Charging for services – key points.

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