Following your Care Act assessment or carer’s assessment, you may have to have a financial assessment. This is also known as a means test.
It will look at your total income and what is called capital to find out what contribution you can afford to make to the cost of your care and support.
Most people will have to contribute to the cost of their care and support.
Financial assessments for care and support
Solihull Council is not able to pay for the care and support of everyone that lives in the borough. This means that a financial assessment, or a means test, will be carried out.
Most people that have a Care Act assessment or a carer’s assessment will be asked to have a financial assessment. You do not have to have a financial assessment but, if you do not, you will have to pay for the full cost of your care and support.
The financial assessment process
Your financial assessment will be carried out by a trained financial officer who works for Solihull Council or has been given the relevant authority by the council to look at your income and capital.
Income is money which you receive regularly, like wages for work.
Capital, or capital savings, includes land, property and financial products like stocks and shares that you own. It does not include your home.
The financial officer will look at your income and your capital savings if:
- you have savings of £14,249 or below they will not be considered as part of your assessment
- you have savings between £14,250 and £23,250 they will be considered
- for every £250 (or part of £250) you have over £14,250 Solihull Council will add £1.00 to your total weekly income assessed in the assessment
- if your savings are above £23,250 or you do not wish to have a means test, Solihull Council will assess you as being able to make the maximum level of contribution to the cost of your care
The trained officer will also ask you about the costs you have that are caused by your care and support needs or disabilities and impairments.
If you are moving into residential care, the value of your property may also be used as part of your financial assessment.
The financial assessment process may also discuss your options for increasing your income. These discussions can include looking at any benefits you may be entitled to receive, which would help you afford to pay for your care costs more easily.
Once all information has been collected and assessed the financial officer will be able to calculate how much your contribution will be to the cost of your care and support needs.
If you are having a financial assessment, it will help if you can have details of your income prepared for the officer to look at.
Documents the financial officer may want to look at include:
benefit award letters
- state pension details
- housing benefit award letters
- occupational / private pension details
- rent / mortgage agreements
- council tax details
- bank / building society statements
- savings accounts / PEP / ISA details
- trust funds, bonds and any other income details
You may also find it helps to have recent receipts and bills to hand, such as for:
- fuel bills
- disability equipment
- care and support invoices for private care
The financial assessment will apply to the total amount of your income, capital and savings after certain costs have been taken away.
Costs which will not be included in the total for your financial assessment include:
- mortgage payments
- rental payments (after any Housing Benefits has been applied)
- council tax (after any Council Tax Reduction has been applied)
In line with Government guidance, Solihull Council will also deduct an amount equivalent to the basic level of Income Support or Pension Credit plus 25 per cent.
Call Solihull Connect on 0121 704 8007 if you would like to talk to someone about financial assessments.
Income used in your financial assessment
Income that Solihull Council can consider as part of your income for financial assessment includes:
- State Retirement Pension
- Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance Care Component
- Personal Independence Payment Daily Living Component
- Incapacity Benefit / Severe Disablement Allowance
- Occupational / Private Pensions / Annuities
- if your husband, wife or partner is staying in your home and you are in a care home only 50 per cent of this will be included in your assessed income
- Pension Credit Guarantee Credit / Income Support / Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
Income not used in your financial assessment
Income that Solihull Council will not consider as part of your income for financial assessment includes:
- Disability Living Allowance Mobility Component
- Personal Independence Payment Mobility Component
- War Pensions Mobility Supplement
- Tax Credits (Working and Child)
- Child Benefit
- Guaranteed Income Payments made to Veterans under the Armed Forces
- War Pensions
- Pension Credit savings credit (£5.75 per week not included)
Capital used in your financial assessment
For the purposes of the financial assessment, capital means any savings, investments and assets that you own. If you own any assets with another person, such as your wife, husband or partner, it will be split.
Capital considered as part of the total assessed as part of your financial assessment include:
- stocks and shares at 90 per cent of the market value
- money held in bank or building society accounts
- Premium bonds
- property including your home if you are moving into residential care