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Care charges - means testing/co funding- your thoughts - Carers UK Forum

Care charges - means testing/co funding- your thoughts

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
As most of you know Matt created this sectionof the forum so we could post any articles about Cuts to services etc.
This morning another one came through and you can read it here

Councillor Charles Jones, cabinet member for adult care, replied: "I should like to stress the proposals which are being consulted on at the moment are not about introducing charging based on means testing, but are about introducing co-funding."

Many members here access services/ use DPs to organise their care, what do you think is a fair way for the future of funding for care??
I already am a " co-funder"- I pay for a private carer out my carees benefits and our own money. I also have to pay towards the cost of respite. I prefer to do my own thing - less hassle and I am in control. I realise that a lot of carers can't afford to do this and rely on benefits for everyday living so am concerned for the outcome for them. The social workers I have come into contact with have always taken the stance that disability benefits should be used to provide care and have been amazed at what some of them think you can buy out of it- I think they live on another planet. As far as I know many LA's already include disability benefits in their assessments for direct payments. If the government want to take benefits directly and pay them direct to councils I would be violently opposed. Choice is everything. If means testing of carers were introduced for all benefits then better off families like ourselves would have to pay for everything. My caree is my sister- my husband is the breadwinner. I don't think he or anyone else should be punished because they have a disabled relative living with them.
Derbyshire is unusual in still providing for moderate needs and I see this as a loss of the preventative services which keep people out of the substantial and critical needs criteria for longer.

My main concern is around "co-funding" in that it will remove access to social care for a large number of people with the highest needs, DLA and AA do not even begin to address the additional costs of disability for many people, a clever way of cutting the social care bill whilst putting addtional strain on carers and, of course, as moderate needs are no longer provided for, more people will enter the substantial and critical needs brackets leaving family carers to take on the role of social services. Over time, as demand for services decreases due to lack of affordability, those services will no longer be available as they will no longer be cost-effective to provide for the few using them, we are already seeing this in many areas of the country.

We are moving towards a two-tier social care service where those who can afford to pay receive services and those who cannot have to do without. We have already experienced this within our local health service where services have been either cut or pared to the bone so that very few can access a very inadequate service leaving those of us who have neither health insurance nor a substantial income having to cut expenditure, initially on nonessential but, as benefits do not keep up with costs, essential items, in order to meet needs or do without.

These changes to funding for social care provision, along with the proposals for changes to benefits and the ongoing reduction in access to health services in many areas are hardly a mark of a fair and equitable society.
Parsifal you are so right - We couldn't afford to go down the Direct Payments and ILF route at the time because of our sons complex care needs (which will only increase) because what they were willing to provide was something like £156 a week short of what Rob needed and what they were willing to pay. Thats another reason why they are saying an Old Folks Home is the only other option apart from us.

He can't even get acces to the ILF money now because a) they have closed it to new applicants and b) you must be working 16 hours a week to get it. Thus those people who are most severely disabled and most in need of the funds can no longer access it.

He is going to challenge the SW on this though because he has just returned from Rachel House to discover that three of his friends are getting their own places and are being provided with 24/7 care by their councils (Cowdenbeath and Livingston councils respectively) so why can't ours (Renfrewshire)?

The Cowdenbeath boys are two brothers who are moving out of their parents home and the other lad in Livingston is going to be living with two other disabled young men (a la the Denmark model) with 24/7 care support in place. In the SW's defence his package is going to be part funded by the Church of Scotland.

Eun
co-funding ... does that mean we pay half and they pay half ... unless we have enough cash to pay for both halves ...
I do hope that you succeed, Eun, the model of care which you describe is available now in so many parts of the UK and has transformed the lives of many young adults with various disabilites. As for the ILF, it seems to have forgotten what it exists for Image .
g.herscel- it means paying as much as the buggers can get out of you!
has anyone ever been asked to provide proof of their earnings as a family carer , in relation to care assessment charges , i have and refused! i told them the assessment should be on my husbands personal income and has nothing to do with me, they got stroppy but i told them to take me to court to make me declare my personal income , i also told them that any 'child ' related income like child benefit is what it says on the tin CHILD benefit and is income used to bring up children. we still havnt been asked to declare my income since.

has anyone got opinions or experiences of this issue
My son - now 16 - has no income apart from DLA and I have never been asked to provide details of my own income. So here in North Lanarkshire, he gets direct payments in his own right, regardless of parental income, and the system is now working quite well - though i have no doubt it will get much tougher in future. I think the main cost we face is loss of potential earnings due to having to provide most direct supervision ourselves - we used to pay for quite a lot of after-school care ourselves but probably not much more in cash terms than most parents who both choose to work. My own income has reduced somewhat since I retired early and I now work part time, but I can add that my work/life balance has definitely improved and I'm not paying for childcare or commuting out of my own pocket now, so it is swings and roundabouts.

I would have a few problems with providing free social care services to, for example, a millionaire: there must be a point where the individual takes responsibility.
Surely its the disabled persons income that is taken into account, not the carers?