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TOPIC: Carers support body raises alarm about planned changes to charging formula for social care

Carers support body raises alarm about planned changes to charging formula for social care 22 Aug 2017 19:23 #3170

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[Original article]

social care charges consultationEnfield Carers Centre (ECC) has expressed serious concerns about Enfield Council's proposals to change the formula for calculating how much to charge for social care.  Specifically, the proposals would affect people who require night-time care, some of whom stand to see the amount charged rising by £27.45 per week while their income has not increased.

ECC is asking all Enfield residents, including those not personally affected, to respond to the consultation which is currently in progress - the deadline for responses is 10th October.

To explain in greatly simplified terms:  Assessment of the amount to charge for council-funded social care takes into account the recipient's ability to pay.  The calculations take into account a person's incomes from various sources, but particular types of income are disregarded.  Such disregarded income includes disability benefits paid by the Department of Work and Pensions.  However, Enfield Council is now proposing to save money by starting to count some particular DWP benefits as "income", specifically the additional benefits payable to people who require night-time care.

The implications of the proposals are set out in more detail in the linked documents below.

This article was edited on 24th August to correct a factual error pointed out by Enfield Carers Centre.

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Carers support body raises alarm about planned changes to charging formula for social care 24 Aug 2017 11:24 #3171


Please can Enfield Carers Centre clarify some information contained in this article. As a centre we would encourage carers, and other Enfield residences to feed into this consultation and the centre has created a webpage that provides carers with information, that we hope will be useful for them when considering their views.
Although we did arrange for a legal opinion and there was some legal precedent, which predates the Care Act 2014, that might be relevant to this consultation, at no time did this professional definitively say that this made these purposed changes unlawful or illegal; Enfield Carers Centre therefore cannot assume this to be the case.
Representatives of Carers And Parents in Enfield (CAPE) have requested feedback from Enfield Council regarding how the Care Act 2014 legally allows them to make these changes; considering that this appears to contradict historic precedent. This was last requested at the Learning Disability Partnership Board on the 21st August 2017. The article appears to state that ECC is contesting these changes legally, which we simply do not have the expertise to be able to do.
We support carers and hope that many will give their voice towards this consultation and we have provided all the information we can to help them do so; www.enfieldcarers.org/charging-policy-consultation/

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Corrections to the report about the social care charging consultation 24 Aug 2017 13:20 #3172

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Thanks for the clarification and please accept my apologies for the misleading text. I've now deleted the paragraph referring to legal opinions. In another article I incorrectly wrote that Wendy Berry was speaking on behalf of ECC at last week's Over 50s Forum meeting. I have now corrected this - she works for Carers and Parents in Enfield (CAPE).

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