Factsheet (FS) 14:Getting information and advice about your finances (when paying for care and support)
Is this factsheet for you?
This factsheet is for anyone who is paying for care and support at the moment, or thinking about it in the future.
Information and advice can make a difference
Many people don’t know that unlike the NHS, care and support usually isn’t free. In fact, 9 out of 10 people pay towards their care and support, even when it’s organised through Adult Social Care.
Whether you’re making arrangements now or starting to think about the future, paying for care can feel like a big worry, especially when it involves so many uncertainties. You should always have the chance to make well-informed choices when planning how to pay for care and support, whether you have lots of savings and assets, or none at all.
Having the right information and advice could help you manage your money better, get goodquality care and support and make sure you are getting the benefits and income you’re entitled to. Help is available, and this factsheet sets out some of the options.
Paying for care and support
In East Sussex, lots of people pay for some or all of their care and support from their own savings and income – whether they’re getting help at home, or in residential or nursing care.
When the council might be able to help you
Anyone can ask us to look at their care and support needs, and if you are likely to need help we will carry out a social care needs assessment. We have to give priority to people with the greatest need for our support, so what you are entitled to will depend on your level of need.
If you do have eligible needs, and you have less than £23,250 in savings and capital, the council might be able to pay towards your care and support. How much will depend on an assessment of your finances. If you’re currently paying for residential or nursing care, you should let the council know when your savings and capital are likely to fall below £23,250. More information is available in the Council’s leaflet IL02: ‘What you will need to pay towards the cost of your care and support’
If you have eligible needs but have more than £23,250 in savings and capital Adult Social Care can still offer advice and information and help you to find the care and support that you need.
You can contact Adult Social Care via Health and Social Care Connect(HSCC) if you would like advice and information or an assessment of your needs. Anyone can ask us for this, regardless of how much money you have. If you are not entitled to get care and support from us we’ll give you information and advice and tell you about other organisations that may be able to help.
In addition Adult Social Care have produced a range of leaflets about accessing care and support and staying independent, these are available online at
Independent financial advice
Talking to a specialist independent financial adviser may help you to understand your funding options, and make the right choices at the right time, especially if you’re thinking about paying for long-term care and support.
You could find advice from an independent adviser helpful if you:
- already live in a care home and you’re paying for care from your income andsavings
- are acting as a power of attorney and looking after someone else’s financialaffairs in any of the above circumstances, or
- think you are likely to need care and support in the future, for example, if youhave a long-term condition such as Multiple Sclerosis.
Choosing an independent financial adviser
There are lots of independent financial advisers out there, and it may seem difficult to work out who is right for you. As well as making sure that you use someone who is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority, you might want to consider:
- Someone accredited with the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA). SOLLA registered financial advisers go through a training and accreditation process, and are specialists in planning ahead for later life – even if you’re still young. You can find their contact details at the back of this factsheet. Independent financial advice covers lots of different areas, and an adviser who specialises in care fees may understand more about the situation thatyou’re in, and will be able to offer more tailored advice. Most financialadvisers will state if they have any specialist areas of knowledge, and you cancheck this with SOLLA as well.
- ‘Support with Confidence’ is an accreditation scheme which makes sure all members are committed to the highest level of quality, safety and training.It is a directory of vetted and approved care and service providers including services like personal care, meal provision, gardening, home improvement, transport needs and financial advice.
You can see this directory on our website at call 01323 463440 for details of services in your area.
- Restricted or unrestricted financial advisers Restricted financial advisers are usually tied to an institution – for example, a bank – and will be limited in the range of products that they could offer you. This means that you may not get the best offer out there, but you might want this if you know that you trust a certain bank, for example. Unrestricted financial advisers will look at all financial products that are available across the market which gives a wider choice.
- Beware of anything that seems too good to be true as some financial advisers work on the basis of protecting or transferring your assets. Government regulations call this ‘intentional deprivation’, and loopholes that seem to offer a way for you to save your money may cause you problems later down the line.
- Equity release schemes is the name given to a range of products that let you access the equity (cash) tied up in your home if you are over 55. The Money Advice Service has a helpful guide which explains your options and what to look out for:
Get more information about paying for care
The Money Advice Service is free and impartial. It has some very helpful information about paying for care, finding advice, or thinking about savings and retirement. call them on 0300 500 5000.
Tax Help for Older People provide free, expert, personal tax advice and support for older people on low annual incomes. More details can be found on their website,
you can call their national helpline on 0845 6013321 or 01308 488 066.
Citizens Advice also has helpful information about accessing and paying for care, and sources of further help, including getting financial advice. Go to
contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau (details at the end).
Symponia members will help you get the specialist services you need, while at the same time looking after the financial side of all aspects of care. You can get a copy of their care fees planning handbook from their website, or by ordering it from a Symponia member – you can find a list of local members on their website:
Contact them by email at or call: 01789 491352.
Get more information about debt management and benefit advice
Citizens Advice has helpful information on debt management and benefit advice at Alternatively, drop into your local bureau or call 03444 111 444.
If your question is about changes to benefits, we have a dedicated welfare benefits helpline: 0333 3440681 or The helpline is provided on behalf of Hastings and Rother CCG and Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG. If you’re not sure which CCG area you are in, you can find out here: or you could check with your GP surgery.
Pension Wise is a new government service that provides guidance on the options for accessing your pension(s), including thinking about providing for future care needs. A Pension Wise appointment is free, and may help if you are 50 or over and have a defined contribution pension pot. To make an appointment call 0300 330 1001 or contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
Visit call 0300 330 1001
National help with paying for care
Money Advice Service:
Paying for Care:
There are also national charities and advice services which support people with disabilities, carers and older people, and organisations with expert knowledge of specific conditions (such as being deafblind). Some useful ones are:
Age UK: (older people) or call 0800 169 2081
Independent Age: (older people) or call 0800 319 6789
Alzheimer’s Society: (memory) or call 0300 222 11 22
Sense: (sensory impairments) or call 0300 330 9250
Carers UK: (carers) or call 0808 808 7777
The Royal British Legion: call 0808 802 8080
The Soldiers, Sailors, Airman and Families Association (SSAFA): or call 0800 731 4880 Veterans UK: or call 0808 1914 218
What to do next
If you would like an assessment of your care and support needs, or if you look after someone, you should contact Health and Social Care Connect. You can also contact us if you’re worried about someone else or would like further copies of this factsheet or others we publish. If you have particular questions about your situation, a good start is to contact your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
Health and Social Care Connect (HSCC)
Phone: 0345 60 80 191
Text: 07797 878 111
Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) in East Sussex
For Crowborough, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Hastings, Lewes, Seaford and Uckfield areas Phone: 03444 111 444
For Rother District call CAB call: 01424 215055 or 01424 734549
Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) Email: Phone: 0845 303 2909
Making a complaint
If you want to make a complaint about Adult Social Care, you might want to use an independent advocate to help you understand the complaints process and put your views across effectively.
For more information about how to make a complaint, please read our leaflet ‘IL03: Your feedback is important to us’. Or you can find the information on our website at eastsussex.gov.uk/socialcare
To get more copies of this factsheet, or any of the other leaflets or factsheets mentioned – please contact Health and Social Care Connect, our customer contact centre on 0345 6080191, using Minicom via type talk on 18001 034560 or by email to