Paying for my care and support

Social care, unlike healthcare, is not free for everyone. Most people have to pay something towards the cost of their care and support services. The amount you pay depends on the level of need and the amount of assets you have. We will carry out a proportionate and fair assessment of your financial circumstances. You will not be charged more than you can afford to pay.

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council, in partnership with Optalis, work out how much you should pay towards the cost of the support and care you may need.

Read about the proposed changes on GOV.UK. More details will be available in due course. 

Your care costs, or those of someone you look after, may pay towards:

  • care and support while you are living at home
  • care homes
  • supported housing or extra care housing
  • a direct payment for you to arrange your own care and support

We will work with you to understand your social care needs through a support needs assessment. There is no charge for a needs assessment.

Your assessment will check whether your needs meet the national eligibility criteria for social care.

If you are not eligible for care and support from us, we will give you information and put you in touch with other organisations that may be able to help you.

We will also check if you have support from an unpaid Carer and will offer them support and assessment to manage their caring role.

A financial assessment works out how much you can afford to pay for your care and support. The assessment will look at your:

  • Income – such as pensions and benefits
  • Assets – such as savings, investments, property and land

How much you will need to pay depends on your savings and capital (excluding the value of your home if you are still living in it).

You will have to pay the full cost of your care and support if:

  • You do not wish to have a financial assessment
  • You are a single person, with savings over £23,250
  • You choose to be assessed as a couple, and have savings over £46,500
  • You can have a full financial assessment if your savings are below these limits.

A social care practitioner can help you to arrange your care and support, if you need help. To request this please call the Front Door Team on 01628 683744 during office hours.

If your savings and capital is £23,250 or below, you may be eligible for help towards the cost of your care. If the council is able to pay towards your support, we will give you some choices to organise your support, using a personal budget.

Your personal budget includes all the services that you need, such as home care, personal assistants, day services and planned respite breaks.

Your personal budget is made up of the amount you are assessed to pay and the ‘top up’ the council will pay. This is based on the results of your assessments.

You can choose to organise your support yourself. We call this a direct payment. We will pay an amount of cash, minus your contribution, into your direct payments bank account. Please see our direct payment leaflet for more information.

You can choose to have the council organise your support. We call this a Council-Managed Budget. Every four weeks we will send a statement that tells you the amount you need to pay for your care costs.

We will review your situation roughly every two years. However, if your circumstances change, please contact us as soon as possible as this might affect your contributions.

The Deferred Payments Scheme helps you to use the value of your home to pay for your residential care. The scheme offers you a loan from the Local Authority using your home as security. The loan is paid back when your home is eventually sold. There are set up costs and annual fees for this and interest is charged on the loan. You can find out more about this in our deferred payments document.

If you own your own home and move into a care home, the value of your main home will not be taken into account in your financial assessment during the first 12 weeks of your permanent stay in a care home. This is known as a 12-week property disregard.

This is so that you have time to think about out how to pay your share of the cost of your care in a care home. For example, you might want to sell your old home or use the council's Deferred Payment Scheme (see the Deferred Payment Scheme Information Sheet) to delay selling your home.

The 12-week property disregard applies to everyone who owns or has a share in a property, that was their main or only home, for the first 12 weeks of your permanent stay. If you sell your home within the first 12 weeks, the disregard will no longer apply, and the money of the sale will usually be included in the financial assessment.

In some circumstances, the value of your property may not be included in the financial assessment (disregarded) for different reasons. If your property was disregarded, for example, because your partner still lived there, and they die or go into a care home themselves the 12-week property disregard will apply from the date the other property disregard stopped.

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead 

Benefit information 

Age UK - The leading national charity for older people 

National site for Citizens Advice Bureau 

Independent financial information and advice on paying for care 

Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead NHS Primary Care Trust 

Inspection unit for care services the Care Quality Commission 

Age UK England: National Information Line: 0800 169 2081

Age UK Berkshire: 0118 959 4242

Better Caring: Information on registered care homes: 0845 644 1701

Care Quality Commission (who inspect care services): 0300 061 6161