Most people have to pay something for care and support.

Find out what the national rules are on how much you pay and how we work this out. These rules will change in October 2023.

Get an idea if you can get any financial help

You will only get financial help with your care and support if:

  • You have needs that mean you qualify for care
  • Your money coming in will not cover the costs
  • You have less than £23,250 put aside

How to ask us for financial help with your care

Once you have less than £23,250, not including your home, ask us for help.

National rules mean we can only help to pay for your care from the date you ask us for this.

To do this, contact our team on 01305 221 016 or your social work professional.

We can only give you financial help if we have looked at your needs and found you qualify for care. Get your care needs looked at.

What you need to do to get financial help with care

To get financial help with care, you have to show us evidence of:

  • your money
  • your costs

We need this to work out what you are able to pay. If you do not want to show us this, you will have to pay the full cost of your care.

Show us proof of your money and your costs

You will need to show us evidence of both your money and your costs.

We look at both money you’ve got in accounts and money coming in each week.

Evidence of your money

We will need to see evidence showing all of:

  • your cash
  • your bank accounts
  • stocks and shares and bonds
  • your pensions
  • your benefits
  • properties you own
  • other money coming in

Evidence of your costs

If you will live at home, we need to know how much you spend on:

  • mortgage or rent
  • council tax
  • energy bills
  • water bills
  • any disability costs

Tell us if you have costs because of your disability

If you will live at home, we will consider if you need money for disability costs. Tell us if you think you have these costs.

Disability costs can include: 

  • a personal alarm
  • disability equipment
  • any extra heating costs
  • any extra clothing costs
  • domestic help with things you cannot do yourself
  • any specialist care not provided by Dorset Council

These are only examples. What you need to pay for to live independently is personal to you.

We will ask to see evidence of your expenses. You can give us receipts or bills showing what you pay.

Find out more about disability-related expenditure (Gov.uk).

Find out when money in accounts and assets must pay for care

We also look at all the money and assets you’ve got. Money you put aside could be cash, savings, bonds or stocks and shares, for example.

We only look at the value of a house you, your partner or certain other relatives will not live in. Find out how you can use the money in your home to pay towards your care.

 Your money in accounts and assets  What you must pay from this*


£23,250 or more


The full cost of your care


£14,250 to £23,250

Between £1 and £35 a week**

Less than £14,250

You only pay some of your money coming in regularly, like a pension.

*These amounts will change in October 2023.
**You pay £1 towards your care for every £250 you have above the cut-off of £14,250. For example, if you have £2,500 more than the cut-off, you pay £10 a week. 

We look at assets even if you no longer own them

If you want financial help with care, we will ask you about property, assets or money in accounts you used to own.

You may need to pay for care using assets you no longer own. This happens if we find you gave assets away when you knew you needed care.

This would be a case of ‘deprivation of assets’ under the rules we work to.

To be safe, we would advise you to:

Find out when money coming in regularly must pay for care

You keep some of the money you have coming in regularly to live on. Any money that is left must go towards your care.

Check the money you are allowed for living costs

If you will live at home, we make sure you have money left for your living costs. This is called the ‘minimum income guarantee’ and is between £74.60 and £194.70.

We work out the amount for you based on your age and situation.

If you will live in a care home, you are allowed a smaller amount for expenses. This is called the personal expense allowance and is between £25.65 and £31.55.

How we let you know what you will pay

We will let you know in writing what you need to pay towards your care.

This letter will show what you need to pay each week from:

  • your money in accounts and assets
  • your money coming in

We will show how we worked this out. We will tell you how much money you are allowed for living and disability costs. 

If you think there is a mistake, you can appeal a decision on what you need to pay towards your care.

Otherwise, find out the different ways you can pay towards your care. 

How you get money for your care

Ask us about getting the money for your care as direct payments. This could give you more choice over who you get care and support from.

Find out more about direct payments.

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