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Do I need to pay for social care in my home or local community?


Getting advice and support

If you need help to live independently or to care for someone you should contact us to discuss your situation. Our Adults’ CarePoint contact details are on the 'Contact us' page.

When you first contact us, one of our staff will give you free, confidential advice. At this stage we will consider your abilities, health and mobility, and talk to you about what support you need to live as independently as possible and to prevent, reduce or delay the need for social care support.

We use national guidelines to help us decide whether you have care needs which are eligible for council-funded support. Your social care worker will explain the assessment process to you. You can also find information about assessment in our ‘Your life, your choice’ information booklet. Please visit our website westsussex.gov.uk and search under ‘Adults’ social care publications’ or contact our Adults’ CarePoint and ask for a copy.

If you are eligible to receive social care support from us, we will look at what you have told us and work out how much money may be available for your support.

You may have to pay towards the cost of your social care support. This is known as your contribution. If you are assessed as needing reablement, the service is free for as long as the occupational therapist says that you need it for. If you continue to receive care after this, you may have to pay towards the cost.

Reablement is short-term support designed to help you keep or relearn skills following a period of ill health or if you are having difficulties caring for yourself. If you need care and support after your period of reablement, the amount you pay will depend on your financial situation. See 'Working out how much you will need to pay - your contribution' for information about how we work out how much you may need to pay.

A member of our staff, a family friend, or a support service can help you choose support that meets your needs. We will also make sure that we carefully consider the needs of your family or other people interested in your wellbeing.

If you are a carer, you can ask for help both for yourself and for the person you are looking after. You are entitled to an assessment of your needs even if the person you care for has not been assessed or is not receiving any services from us. We will ask you about your wellbeing  and the needs that you have as a result of your caring role. You should contact us or Carers Support West Sussex to arrange an assessment. 

Help making decisions

By law, we need to assume that anyone aged 16 or over can make decisions for themselves, with support if needed, unless we have evidence they cannot do so. If you are not able to make your own decisions and we have to take action on your behalf, we will only do this if it is in your best interests. If a best-interest decision is needed, we will discuss your needs with anyone who has a valid power of attorney. This means someone who is legally allowed to make specific decisions for you and to act on your behalf. If the Court of Protection has authorised someone to act on your behalf, we will also work closely with that person to make sure that any decisions that are made about your care and support are in your best interests.

If you are not eligible for funded social care support

We will provide you with information and advice to help you find the support you need.

If you have been assessed as having eligible social care needs but you have savings or investments over the current national threshold of £23,250 (not including the value of your main or only home), we can help you arrange and buy services if you would like us to do this for you. We call this a brokerage service. The brokerage service only covers services in the community, which we would have a legal duty to provide in order to meet your eligible social care needs. This includes short-term residential care, but not long-term residential care. We will make a charge for this service but it is only to cover the cost to the County Council of making the arrangements.

We will make an initial charge of £195. If you want us to change your support later on, we will make another charge of £195. If you want us to buy services for you and then reclaim the cost from you, we will charge you an ongoing administration fee of £6 per week.

You may also like to visit our West Sussex Connect to Support website, which provides information and advice about ways to help people live independently and directs people to local community activities and care services.

Last updated: 01 December 2023