Finance: Your rights

Know your rights when it comes to your finances.

Financial assessment

If you have been assessed by your local council Social Services as in need of help or care, whether at home or in a care home, you have the right to a financial assessment to determine whether the council will help towards the costs.

More about obtaining care and support from your local council

Direct payments

If a needs assessment by your local council has accepted that you need help or care, and that this could be provided at home and that the council will contribute towards the costs – then you have the right to ask for this contribution in cash (direct payment) to help you arrange your care yourself.

Visit the FOS website

More about direct payments from DirectGov

More about direct payments for carers from the NHS

Funding your own care

If you are funding your care yourself, you have no rights to specialist guidance or advice on how best to do this. However if you consult a registered Independent Financial Advisor (IFA), you have the right to a service that conforms to rules set by a regulatory body called The Financial Services Authority (FSA).

FSA rules oblige IFAs to provide advice most suited to each client’s personal requirements and risk outlook. When financial products are recommended they must take into account the benefits provided, charges, flexibility, service and financial strength. If advising on funding long term care, they must have a specialist qualification known as CF8. The Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) aims to ensure that consumers are better informed about the financial issues of later life. Because their accredited advisers specialise in the financial needs of older people the society’s objective is to provide the added reassurance that the practical help and guidance their advisers offer can help people to make the right financial decisions at the right time.

More about Self Funding Care Home Fees


If you are unhappy with a local council decision, you have the right to challenge it. Use the council’s own complaints procedure first. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, send a written complaint to your Local Government Ombudsman, or ask a councillor to do so on your behalf.

Visit the Local Government Ombudsman website

If you are unhappy with the services of a registered financial advisor, first follow that advisor’s complaints procedure. If necessary, take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

Visit the FOS website