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Financial assessments for care

You can ask your local council's social work department for an assessment of your care needs if you think you need care support.

Your local council may charge for providing some care services. You can ask your council for information on their charging policy.

If you're assessed as needing services which have a charge, the council will also carry out a financial assessment.

This will decide how much – if anything – you need to pay towards the cost of services.

No matter what organisations you get services from, they should tell you what their service will include and how much it'll cost before the service begins.

Financial assessments for care and support at home

To decide how much you need to pay, your local council will look at your:

  • savings
  • income

If you disagree with the amount you're asked to pay, you can ask for a review.

If you do not want a financial assessment, you can refuse one. This means you'll have to pay the full cost of any service arranged for you.

If your circumstances change, you can ask for a reassessment at any time.

Direct payments

If you are assessed as needing care and support at home, you can speak to your council about self-directed support. 

Self-directed support means you can choose to be involved in planning your care and support. There are different care and support options to choose from.  

Direct payments are one type of self-directed support. This means that you can ask for your financial help to be paid directly to you. This means you can manage the budget yourself. You can arrange your own home care or employ your own home care worker. 

Find out more about self-directed support.

Financial assessments for care homes

If you're assessed as needing to stay in a care home and you cannot pay the full cost, your local council will carry out a financial assessment for you.

It will decide how much you can pay towards the standard rate of care home fees.

The financial assessment will look at:

  • how much capital you have
  • your income

Capital limits

You can get local council support with care home fees if you have capital under a certain limit. This is called capital limits.

Capital includes:

  • property
  • money held in bank or building society accounts
  • stocks and shares
  • National Savings Certificates
  • Premium Bonds
  • cash 
  • trusts
  • land

Find out more about capital limits.


How your income is treated depends on what type of income it is. There are three ways it can be treated. It can be:

  • counted in full
  • partially disregarded
  • fully disregarded

Find out more about how your income is treated in a financial assessment for care homes.

Further information

Carers Scotland has a factsheet on getting assessments in Scotland.

Age UK provides information and advice about social care support.

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