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Social Services: Finance

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 6688, tabled on 23 May 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the potential impact of the rise in the cost of living on the levels of support people who pay for or contribute to their local authority social care support are able to afford.

Answered on

31 May 2022

Local authorities have a duty to meet the eligible needs of individuals in certain situations, including where the individual has assets below the means test threshold and is therefore eligible for funded support.

Whether a local authority can charge an individual for some or all of the cost of their care will depend on their financial situation. Under the Care Act 2014, charging is based on principles including that people should not be charged more they can afford to pay. It would therefore be for the local authority to determine whether a revised financial assessment is required in the event the cost of living is impeding an individual’s ability to contribute to meeting their eligible care needs.

We have announced that we will reform our overall data and assurance approach to improve the quality, timeliness and accessibility of adult social care data. From April 2022, we have unfrozen the Minimum Income Guarantee for those receiving care in their own homes and the Personal Expenses Allowance for care home residents. We have implemented this reform ahead of the planned timetable to support people with income levels.

From October 2023, we will implement a more generous means testing regime to ensure that more people will receive support for their care costs at an earlier stage and retain more of their savings when contributing to care costs. We will continue to work with the sector to understand the potential impact of inflationary pressures on adult social care costs by October 2023.