Charging for non-residential care services

Please note the information below is effective from Monday 6th April 2015

If you receive a service arranged by Sefton Council then you may be asked to contribute towards the cost of that service.   We work out your contribution by completing a financial assessment, government guidelines tell us how to work this out taking account of your income, savings/assets and some outgoings.

You do not have to pay for the following:

  • Community Care Equipment
  • Aftercare services provided under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983
  • Reablement services

Flat rate charges

Some services have fixed charges that are paid by everyone:

  • Meals taken at Day Centres    - £3.25 per meal
  • Transport to Day Centres        - £1.50 per journey (if your savings are no more than £23,250)

For other care services the amount you have to pay is worked out following a financial assessment.

This will depend on your individual circumstances.  We will complete a financial assessment and work out how much you will be asked to pay depending on the level of income, savings/assets and some expenses that you have.  We call this your maximum charge.  We will not ask you to pay more than this, and you will not pay more than your services cost.                                                                                             

Below are the maximum costs that you could pay:

  • Day centre attendance        - £17.50 per day
  • Home care                        - £14.22 per hour

The Government sets a minimum weekly income below which you don’t have to contribute to your care costs, this is to allow for general living costs such as food, fuel, clothing, etc.  The level depends on your age and is set at the basic level of Income Support or Pension Guarantee Credit plus 25%.

Any income you have above the minimum weekly income level is counted as being available to you to contribute towards the cost of your care.  But we can take into account any additional costs you incur resulting from disability where these can be evidenced.

If your savings/assets are above £23,250 you may be asked to pay for the full cost of the service that you receive:

  • Home Care/Community Support                - actual cost of service
  • Day Centre attendance                             - up to £45 per day
  • Transport to and from day centres              - £6.50 per trip

Once it has been agreed by a Care Manager that you require care or support services you will be contacted by the Financial Assessment team.    They will write to you with a date when they will visit you at your home, if this is inconvenient you can ring them by telephone on 0151 934 2913 to rearrange the visit.  At this visit you may find it helpful to have a relative or friend present, especially if they usually help you with your finances.

A  Finance Visiting Officer will visit you in your home and will complete a financial assessment with you.   They will require proof of your income, savings and also some expenditure that you have such as mortgage payments and expenses related to any disability.

At the visit they will:

  • Calculate how much you will be asked to pay towards the services that you receive.
  • Complete a benefit check to ensure that you are claiming all the benefits to which you are entitled.
  • Help complete claim forms for any welfare benefits or tax credits that you could be entitled to.

If you prefer that we do not visit you we can send you a financial assessment form to complete, but we will require you to return it with evidence of any income, savings, etc you have such as bank statements, benefit or pension letters.  

This is how we work out how much to charge you for your services:

We work out your weekly income, taking account of any saving you have. We then deduct the following:

  • An allowance for everyday living expenses (income support/pension credit +25%)
  • Any rent, mortgage and council tax costs.
  • Any disability expenses (we allow most people a minimum of £11 per week for the extra expenditure resulting from illness or disability

The amount that is left is the amount available for you to pay towards the services you receive.


This is an example of how we work out the weekly charge for a person who is aged 72 and lives on their own.

Cost of Services

The cost of services is:

 Following a visit from a Finance Visiting Officer the contribution toward the cost of the services they receive was worked out as follows:

Weekly Income:

Retirement Pension £139.02
Occupational Pension £54.95
Attendance Allowance £55.10
Pension Guarantee Credit £19.08
Pension Savings Credit £14.82
Total Income: £282.97


Pension Savings Credit £14.82
Disability expenditure £11.00
Pension Credit +25% £189.00
Total Allowances £214.82

 Available income:

Available income left                                           £68.15 maximum charge

 The weekly charge towards the cost of services is £68.15 per week


If you are part of a couple you will initially be assessed as a single person. However, we will offer you an assesment as a couple, and the lower of these calculations will apply.


If you would rather not tell us about your financial circumstances, we will charge you the full cost of the services you receive. It may be in your interests to give us this information, as you may not have to pay the full cost of the services.

No, each year we will carry out a review of your financial assessment based on increases to benefits awarded by the Department for Work and Pensions, and based on information that you have previously provided us with.

However, if at any timre there are any other changes to your circumstances including your income, or the amount you pay towards housing or disability costs, you should let us know. We will then work out your charge again, taking account of your new circumstances.

We will send you a bill every four weeks. You can pay the bill:

  • By cheque
  • By standing order
  • At any bank/building society
  • At any post office
  • Via the internet
  • By debit card
  • By national Girobank transfer
  • By visiting a Sefton Council One-Stop Shop

If you receive a cash direct payment this will be reduced by the amount you are assessed to contribute.


It is important to keep up-to-date with payments. We will send you a reminder if you do not pay your bill within fourteen days. You will get a final notice after a further fourteen days. If you have problems paying your charge, then please contact us as soon as possible so that we can try to help you.

If you still do not pay your charge then as a last resort we will begin our debt recovery procedures which could result in costly legal action.

You should contact our Financial Assessment Team Manager who will look at the financial assessment again. If you are unhappy with the outcome of this decision then our Principal Finance Manager will look at it again.

Finally, if you are still not happy with the decision you can follow the Council's Complaints Procedure.


If you have questions about charges please contact us on 0151 934 2913.

If you have questions about your bill please contact us on : 0151 934 4149.

Last Updated on 01 September 2017