By Debbie le Quesne

Another blow for our elderly in benefits plan

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So the Government plans to transfer responsibility of a £5bn social care benefit to councils . . .

Not surprisingly this plan is now being exposed as disguised cost-cutting and could restrict the number of older people getting care at home, campaigners claim.

Just before Christmas the whole business of attendance allowances (AA) was in the news and there are more rumblings now.

Nearly 1.5 million people receive the allowance, paid at a rate of £55.10 or £82.30 a week, to help with personal care for those who have a physical or mental disability.

Now Care home owner Michael Vaughan has launched a petition  https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/119787  to halt the move, fearing it will removes valuable financial support from people who may not meet the increasingly substantial criteria that Social Services use when deciding if a person is entitled to their support.

Currently AA is a non-means tested benefit for people over 65 who need help with personal care (i.e. washing, dressing and eating etc), because they are physically or mentally disabled.

It helps people to remain at home for longer and enables them to decide how, where and when their care is delivered. What’s more, it helps remove pressure on an already overstretched NHS.

Our ‘dom-care’ providers are quick to point out the new proposal will diminish independence and choice for the elderly.

Quite rightly, Michael Vaughan says it will have a hugely negative impact on our elderly’s health.

AA can make all the difference between living and existing – and without it people will suffer. It’s a vital benefit that helps deliver what I think the Government wants . . . for people to be able to stay in their own homes longer.

I have a question: Will these monies that are passed on the LAs be ring-fenced? If not, I guess it’s another way of saying ‘more cuts on the way, Debbie’.

Not surprisingly, our Supported Living providers – some of them huge national charities who support housing scheme residents – are all with fingers crossed that the outcome will not be devastating.

As far as I can ascertain, models are geared towards the attendance allowance, but there appears to be scant impact analysis on the plans out there.



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