This in from the council. Follow the discussion at last night’s Scrutiny Committee when the subject was raised by members. Ed
Proposals to change non-residential care charges for adult social care are to be considered by the council’s Cabinet on 15 June, where the option of consulting with users will be discussed.
As is the case nationally, people receiving adult social care on the Island undergo a financial means test to determine whether or not they have to pay for, or contribute towards, the costs of their social care.
Two month consultation
Adult social care is proposing to undertake a two month consultation to evaluate whether or not people in receipt of disability related benefits at the higher or enhanced rates, should have the totality of these benefits included as part of their income calculation in this means test.
The proposals seek to ensure that all income is taken into account for those people who receive Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments. This is a change in the current arrangements where the income from these benefits is assumed to be at the lower rates only – regardless of whether or not the person receives the higher rates.
‘Fairer Charging rules’
Currently, people who receive these benefits at the higher or enhanced rate have the difference between the lower and higher rates effectively ignored for purposes of means testing for adult social care. By way of contrast, those people who receive the lower, middle or standard rates of these benefits have all of this income taken into consideration in the means test.
By not taking the higher or enhanced rate of these benefits into account, adult social care has been following previous guidance under ‘Fairer Charging rules’, issued by the Department of Health. The introduction of the Care Act 2014 has replaced all previous guidance and legislation and now allows the council, if it chooses, to include these benefits at the higher or enhanced rate as part of a charging assessment.
If approved, the consultation will seek the views of relevant service users and stakeholders, together with potential users and other interested parties.
Seeking a broad and thorough consultation
Councillor Clare Mosdell, cabinet member for adult social care, said:
“We are seeking a broad and thorough consultation on these proposals, which have been generated to ensure equity in how all benefit income is treated when we levy charges on people. It will also assist Adult Social Care in meeting its ongoing savings targets, which are £3.845 million in 2017/18, set against the backdrop of new legislation and financial pressures.
“The consultation will look to see if we can bring in a system that is fairer for all. We will take full account of the feedback and consultation findings before bringing finalised proposals to the Cabinet for consideration.”