Getting Ready for your Finance and Benefits (FAB) Assessment

This page will help you if you have had an assessment of your care needs and are waiting for a Finance and Benefits Assessment, or you are waiting for a review of your financial contribution.

Introduction

You may have recently had an assessment of care and support needs or were notified that the Council will review the amount you may need to contribute for your care and support. This leaflet provides information about things you should think about and evidence you may need to have ready in advance of a financial assessment.

Your care and support assessment has established that you have unmet eligible needs and you will have been told your personal budget – which represents the cost of the care you are assessed as needing. The person who completed your assessment may have explained that social care is ‘means tested’. The amount you may have to contribute is based on both your capital – for example, your savings, and your income, for example any benefits you receive, or interest on savings.  You must pay for all your care and support if you have assets over £23,250 and may need to contribute towards your personal budget if you have assets below £23,250. This is based on your disposable income.

A Personal budget is the amount your care and support package will cost.

Assessed Contribution is the amount you have been assessed to contribute towards your personal budget.

While your personal budget may change if the amount of support you need changes, your contribution toward your care will remain the same unless your income goes up or down.

The financial assessment

The Council’s Finance and Benefits Team (FAB) will contact you shortly after your care and support assessment to arrange a financial assessment. This financial assessment will determine how much you will be required to pay for your care and support.

The assessment will look at all your income including any benefits from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) you receive and based on this information the Council will determine how much (if anything) you will be required to contribute. The Councils charging policy can be found in the adult care policies section on the Wiltshire Council website

The amount you will be required to contribute towards your care is based on your total income.

This is calculated based on all your income, savings and any “eligible assets” (the assessor will explain this to you), less some essential costs:

  • Less the Minimum Income Guaranteed Amount (see below)
  • Less any housing costs
  • Less any eligible Disability Related Expenses (DRE) (explained below)

The Minimum Income Guaranteed Amount

Commonly known as the MIG, this is the amount as set out in section 7 of the Care and Support (Charging and Assessment of Resources) Regulation 2014, MIG is the amount allowed under these regulations to pay for food, utilities and other living costs. 

The FAB team will contact you to make an appointment to complete your financial assessment, following this you will receive a letter confirming the time of your assessment and details of the verification (evidence) that will be needed.

What do I need to do before my financial assessment?

1. Ask someone to join you for support

If you would like somebody to join you when you are assessed, then you might ask a trusted friend or family member to join you during the meeting. You need to be comfortable discussing personal financial matters in front of this person. If you have a legal power of attorney this person will be involved in the assessment process.

If you want support at the assessment but do not have anyone to ask, you can ask for an advocate to help you to get your views across.

2. Have the evidence ready

It is important that before your financial assessment you produce as much evidence as possible relating to your income and expenses.

More information about the sorts of evidence you may need to prepare can be found in the section on Disability Related Expenses (below). Evidence relating to disregarded income could include.

  • Evidence of benefits payments
  • Evidence of earnings through employment
  • Housing costs including bills and rental agreements
  • Bank statements 
  1. Consider Disability Related Expenses (known as DRE)

DRE will be disregarded from your total income.

  • Try to make a full list of all your disability related expenses in advance of the FAB assessment.
  • DRE items relate to additional costs you must meet because of your disability for example high heating costs due to poor blood circulation may be allowed, while high heating costs due to a personal preference to keep your house warmer than ‘average’ would not be counted.
  • Other disability related expenses may include laundry costs due to incontinence, accessible taxi fares, equipment, essential dietary requirements, special clothing (because of wear and tear), and internet costs when you require access to the internet because of a disability or illness. For example, internet access may be considered if you access medical information online that helps you to stay healthy and well.
  • The Council’s policy and the Care Act make it clear that DRE items can only be considered if evidence is provided.

Allowable Disability Related Expenses

The Council does not have a ‘list’ of allowable DRE items but will consider any expense that is incurred because of an individual’s disability.

Examples of what may be considered are included below.

The following list is not exhaustive but it shows what evidence could be included:

Example DRE

EVIDENCE REQUIRED DURING FINANCIAL ASSESSMENT

Domestic help

Receipts from provider

Specialist Items

Evidence of purchase

a) Bed (Powered)

Evidence of purchase

b) Turning Bed

Evidence of purchase

c) Hoist

Evidence of purchase

d) Reclining chair (powered)

Evidence of purchase

e) Stair lift

Evidence of purchase

f) Wheelchair (Manual)

Evidence of purchase

g) Wheelchair (powered)

Evidence of purchase

Laundry/ Specialist washing powder

Care plan will have identified incontinence problem. Identify more than four loads per week

Gardening

Signed receipts for at least four weeks.

Additional household costs related to provision of personal care

Evidence of receipts

Heating- extra heating for medical reasons- check average costs against heating bills

Annual fuel bills

Medication

Letter from doctor confirming

Food or special diet for medical reasons e.g. diabetic

Shopping receipts

Home Maintenance

Receipts from contractors

Additional transport costs necessitated by illness or disability

Travel Receipts

Clothing (Heavy wear and tear)

Receipt of purchase

Metered Water- above the average for their area and house type

One years’ worth of bills from provider and related to eligible need

Internet Access

Bills from provider, but only included if supporting well-being and eligible outcomes

 

If you would like to contact the FAB team

e-mail- FABTeamWiltshire@wiltshire.gov.uk

phone- 01249 706197

What to do if you believe your assessed contribution is wrong

In the first instance contact the FAB team and explain why you believe your assessed contribution is incorrect. The team may ask to see more evidence before reviewing your assessed contribution.

If you believe the Council has not assessed, you in accordance with its policy then you may wish to make a complaint.  Information regarding the Council's complaints procedure can be found on the Council’s website.  Or you can call Wiltshire Council complaints on 01225 718400

More information

Menu: Do I have to Pay for care and Support? 

Easy Read: Financial Assessment

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