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. 

 

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.[1]

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. 

Table

 

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

Our recent Freedom of Information request asked was how many people between 18 – 64 were receiving home care of any sort.   19 councils (representing 60% of the Scottish population) replied with a total of 5,802 clients receiving Personal Care.   This indicates that for all of Scotland about 9,800 people will be receiving Personal Care.  This is similar to the figures used by the Scottish Government in their response to the Petition.     We also identified another 4,900 people in these 19 council areas who receive only non Personal Care.  This would multiply up to 8,000 for all of Scotland.

Who Will Benefit

Multiplying up these numbers reported by the 19 councils, we find that for all of Scotland

  • 5,300 (30%) receive only Personal Care and will be big winners from this policy.
  • 8,100 (45%) receive only Non Personal Care and will see no change from this policy.
  • 4,400 (25%) receive both Personal Care and Non Personal Care and some of whom who get 4 hours or less of Personal Care might gain from this policy.

At the heart of the Scottish Government's problem is a failure to understand the Home Care Contribution scheme in Scotland.  It consists of two primary elements. 

First is the SERVICE COST.  Councils work out what the cost of the service provided is and this becomes the Service Cost.  For example, a weekly service of 80 hours of social care in Midlothian at a local rate of £11.30 per hour would have a service cost of £904 per week. 

Second is the CHARGE.   Councils carry out a financial assessment to see how much someone can afford to pay according to a set of allowances.  If the amount you can pay is less than the SERVICE COST, you must pay the full CHARGE you can afford.  You are never asked to pay more than the full SERVICE COST.

 Someone such as Ordinary Person X on a pension and disability benefits is assessed as being able to pay a CHARGE of £165 per week.  Someone with savings of over a million pounds, well above the £27,000 savings line with the same level of support would be expected to pay a CHARGE of the full SERVICE COST of £904 per week.