Leaked Paper Shows Disabled People get only a quarter of what was promised in Franks Law
Disabled People Lose Out On Government Funding
Less Than 10% Of Frank’s Law Funding Goes To Help Disabled People
Today, Scotland Against the Care Tax is releasing an unseen document used in the Scottish Government’s forward planning for the introduction of ‘Frank’s Law’ – the extension of Free Personal Care to disabled people and people with long term conditions who are under 65.
It shows that, out of £30 million put aside by the Scottish Government, less than 10% (£2.3 million) will go to help disabled people who are hit hard by care charges.
The document titled “Estimated Cost Of Extending Free Personal Care” was used as part of the planning process for Frank’s Law. The Scottish Parliament Petitions Committee asked for this information but this document was not provided to them.
Frank’s Law was originally costed at about £11 million but had spiralled up to nearly £30 million without any clear explanation as to why.
The paper shows that now only £2.3 million will go towards the cost of Free Personal Care. The remaining balance of the money (over £27 million) will be used by local authorities to fund any additional demand for services, meet administration costs or simply contribute to the overall council budget.
Our new Petitions Committee Submission
We are glad to inform you that Scotland Against the Care Tax (SACT) is now in a position to help the Cabinet Secretary meet the assurances she made on the 10th of January to the Petitions Committee.
Jeane Freeman: That is, partly, the critical bit; there are numbers and then there are assumptions and modelling. We will provide the committee with what we used.
Attached to this is a paper with the detailed information on how the Scottish Government calculated the costs for the implementation of “Frank’s Law”, the extension of Free Personal Care to those under 65.
It was unfortunate that the Cabinet Secretary was not able to supply this to the Petitions Committee following her presentation, for it is a public document, circulated to all those who attend the relevant meetings and is quite easily accessible.
The following table from Page 1 of the attached document shows how the £30 million was decided upon. As the total of the costs could come to £29.2 million, we assume that the Scottish Government agreed to round upwards to smooth the introduction.
Councils failing to provide information
Scotland Against the Care Tax has become aware that some councils have been issuing care charge statements after April 1st without providing any explanation about how may hours of personal care and how many hours of non personal care they think people get. Without providing this explanation they are making a mockery of Frank's Law.
Under Section 2 paragraph 25 of the local authority guidance they are required to provide this breakdown
25. In preparation for the implementation of the extension of this policy, local authorities will need to inform supported people currently receiving care at home services about the level of personal care and non-personal care they receive.
If you are in this situation you need to immediately write or email your social worker or council finance department and ask for this breakdown.
Some councils would like to provide only a numerical breakdown of hours - x Hours of Personal Care and Y hours of Non Personal Care. This is not an adequate response as individuals must be put in a position to to make a fair assessment of the option open to them. So local authorities have to identify which tasks they are still planning to charge you for and how long they expect this task to last. This information will allow supported peopel to decide whether to accept the council's assessment, to challenge the assessment or to cancel that part of the council's services and to make other arrangements.
We have prepared two sample draft letters
First is if you have been provided with no information on the personal care split at all. Click Here
The second is if you have been provided with the hours breakdown but no information on what is included in each element. Click Here
Call For Help
The Scottish Government introduced its new policy of Extending Free Personal Care to the under 65s (aka Frank’s Law) on April 1st. Thousands of people stand to benefit from this and we have produced a guide to what the policy means and what disabled people can expect from it.
Scotland Against the Care Tax has campaigned against care charges for ten years and welcomes this new policy as a major improvement in the lives of many disabled people.
But we believe that many will be disappointed in this new policy as they find out either that they don’t qualify at all or that even though their Personal Care is free that they are charged enough for the balance of their care that they are no better off.
Jeff Adamson, Chair of SACT has already found himself in this position. He receives 80 hours of care a week and has been told that 64 hours of this are Personal Care and are delivered without charge from April 1st. However Jeff is still charged £170 per week for his care charges for the 16 hour balance, exactly the same as he was charged prior to April 1st.
We have some stories about people ending their care packages as they find they are not covered by this policy and have instead been hit by other local authority charging increases.
We are collecting evidence over the next couple of months to help us report to the Scottish Government about what the experiences of disabled people are with this new policy. We are hoping to collect between 40 & 50 cases from all parts of Scotland.
We would be grateful if you could share any anecdotes or case studies of the effect this policy of extending Free Personal Care has had. (All stories should be suitably anonymised unless the person would like to make a particular point).
New Guide to Free Personal Care published
Disabled people want to know what to expect from this new policy and how it will affect them. It is possible that many people will disagree with the local council’s decision on what percentage of their care is ‘Personal Care’ and want to challenge this. But the failure of guidance holds them back from being able to make plans.
Jeff Adamson, Chair of Scotland Against the Care Tax, said, “We are so disappointed with this. Once again, we have a policy for councils co-produced by the Scottish Government and COSLA with no input from disabled people who, it would seem, are but an afterthought. Disabled people come at the end of the line. We have been forced to provide our own guide to this new policy to make up for government deficiencies.”
The SACT guide is available on line and covers the introduction of the policy and what people can expect. It also explains where the “grey areas” are in the application of the policy and how disabled people can challenge local councils if they are not happy with how the new policy is applied to them.
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