Information for self funders
The following information explains how social services can help you.
This web page gives you information about the help and advice you can expect to receive from social services when you are paying, or planning to pay for, your own care, whether you are living in your own home or you are in residential care. If you pay for your own care, you may be referred to as a 'self-funder'.
Regardless of your financial circumstances, if you want help to maintain your independence, you are entitled to:
an assessment of your needs
Information and advice
You are entitled to information and advice from us, even if you are not having services from us or if you are having services and paying for them yourself.
This can include printed information, computer websites, telephone advice and putting you in touch with other people and agencies who can help you, as well as personal, face to face help.
We can provide this information to you in any format to suit your needs, including other languages (printed and audio), large print, Braille, audio, British Sign Language (BSL), email or the council's website or any other format you need. Also, if your first language is not English, and suitable information is not available, an interpreter can be provided.
Information and advice is available to you at all times. if you would like information and advice from social services, please contact us.
Assessment of your needs
In addition, if you are over 65 or have a disability or an illness which makes it difficult for you to live independently (such as sight loss, hearing loss or a physical disability, a short term illness or a long term illness), you can ask for an assessment regardless of your financial circumstances.
When the assessment reveals you need help, we will always carefully explain what this means, and confirm what type of help best meets your needs.
At the end of the assessment, these needs are written for you in a detailed care plan. You will get a copy of this plan. The length of time it takes us to give you this care plan will depend on your circumstances. You can use this to help you purchase the care you need if the council cannot pay for the services for you or if you choose to pay for them yourself.
After the assessment and care plan have been completed, we do a financial assessment to work out how much you would be required to contribute to the cost of your care. At the extreme, you could be required to meet the full cost of all of your care and this information is mainly for people in this situation. If you would like more information see our Fairer Charging leaflet (PDF 864KB).
If you are paying for your own residential care, when your finances are below a certain amount, you may be able to get help from the council with the cost of your care.
Where family and friends are providing you with help and support (when they are doing this, they will usually be called 'carers') they can also ask for help and information from social services in their own right. For more information see our carers leaflets.
The government has provided the council with guidelines for determining who has eligible needs. These guidelines are known as 'Fair Access to Care Services' (FACS). Eligibility for services is based on how much risk there is to you of losing your independence, and therefore how quickly you need help.
Even if you are not able to receive financial support from the council for your care, you can still ask for help to arrange the services you need.
If you have had an assessment before and were told that you could afford to pay the full cost of your care, your circumstances could have changed since then. If your situation changes in any way, you can ask us for another assessment. There is never a charge for an assessment.
Even though you are paying for your own care services, you are entitled to ask for these services and your needs to be reviewed, to check if your needs have changed and if the services are meeting your needs properly.
We would normally aim to make contact with you and begin an assessment within 48 hours of your request. Your assessment would take place no longer than 28 days after we've contacted you.
If your first language is not English and you need an interpreter, we can arrange for one to be present during the assessment to help you. We can also arrange for an independent advocate to be at the assessment to help represent your interests.
Finally, if you are currently paying for your own residential care and you haven't had a social services assessment before you went to live in a care home, you still have the following rights:
You are entitled to ask social services to review the care you are purchasing for yourself, to make sure your needs are being met properly.
By being in a care home, you would be regarded as a vulnerable person, and social services can, through the reviewing process, help ensure you are being looked after with all due dignity and respect.
Social services can provide you and your family with helpful information about being in a care home.
For further information and advice please contact your nearest social care office.