Charging for care - the Minimum Income Guarantee rate
A single disabled man has had the same rate of Minimum Income Guarantee since it seems at least 2016. This is still at £151.45 a week.
When his DLA or now PIP element for care costs are increased the County Council increase their charges. He sees no increase in his income from PIP care element.
However in the Care and Support Guidance issued for the Care Act 2014, Annex C para 39 it says that the MIG value should be the equivalent of Pension Credit Guarantee Credit plus 25%. The Guarantee Credit is currently £177.10 a week.
Would anyone know if the law on the MIG rate was changed? And which year?
The figures seem to be right for a single person > 25 but under pension age, with a disability and enhanced disability premium.
For the next financial year (2021 to 2022), the rates of the MIG will remain at their current levels as follows:
7(1)(b) where the adult concerned is responsible for, and a member of, the same household as a child, the amount of £83.65 in respect of each child
7(2) where the adult concerned is a single person and:
is aged 18 or older but less than 25, the amount of £72.40
is aged 25 or older but less than pension credit age, the amount of £91.40
has attained pension credit age, the amount of £189.00
7(3) where the adult concerned is a lone parent aged 18 or over, the amount of £91.40
7(4) where the adult concerned is a member of a couple and:
one or both are aged 18 or over, the amount of £71.80
one or both have attained pension credit age, the amount of £144.30
7(5) where the adult concerned is a single person who is in receipt of, or the local authority considers would, if in receipt of income support, be in receipt of:
disability premium, the amount of the applicable premium is £40.35
enhanced disability premium, the amount of the applicable premium is £19.70
7(6) where the adult concerned is a member of a couple and one member of that couple is in receipt of, or the local authority considers would, if in receipt of income support, be in receipt of:
disability premium, the amount of the applicable premium is £28.75
enhanced disability premium, the amount of the applicable premium is £14.15
7(7) where the adult concerned is in receipt of, or the local authority considers would, if in receipt of income support be in receipt of, carer premium, the amount of the applicable premium is £43.25
Thanks I was not disputing what is published. But I am puzzled because it seems the MIG rates have not increased since 2015. But originally according to the Care and Support Statutory Guidance (page 370 para 39) the MIG rate is linked to PC Guarantee Credit plus 25 %
Shelter affirms this in recent guidance on local authority charging for care and support linking the MIG rate to IS plus 25%.
This is why the young man in question loses out as benefit rates increase but the local authority are allowed to charge him the increased amount (PIP care costs)
I don’t know which version of the Care and Support Statutory Guidance you’re reading from Judy but it’s not the one we use?
Para.48 and 49 of Annex C state the following:
Minimum income guarantee
48) Local authorities must ensure that a person’s income is not reduced below a specified level after charges have been deducted. The amounts are set out in the Care and Support (Charging and Assessment of Resources) Regulations. However, this is only a minimum and local authorities have discretion to set a higher level if they wish. This approach will lead to greater consistency between the charging framework and established income protections under the income support rules. We will keep this under review and seek to update the charging framework in line with the roll-out of Personal Independence Payments and updating/repeal of the income support rules.
49) The purpose of the minimum income guarantee is to promote independence and social inclusion and ensure that they have sufficient funds to meet basic needs such as purchasing food, utility costs or insurance. This must be after any housing costs such as rent and council tax net of any benefits provided to support these costs – and after any disability related expenditure. For example, a council tenant will have water rates as part of a rent service charge whilst a private or housing association tenant will not.
It was the case that the respective MIG’s were pinned to basic rates of Income and Support/Pension Credit plus 25% but this ceased with effect from 2016 and the Guidance was updated. See this from para.84 et seq “CHARGING POLICIES AND IMPLICATIONS OF SH V NORFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL which is an opinion written by Zoe Leventhal and Emma Fobister of Matrix Chambers on the case of SH v Norfolk Council which found the Council’s changes to it’s charging policy to be unlawful.
Have the LA in this case asked for or taken into account any disability-related expenditure? That would probably be a good start point as DRE is allowable when council’s decide to take all of someone’s disability benefit into account. Probably also worth highlighting the SH case and asking then to reconsider their charging decisions accordingly as they shouldn’t really be taking a blanket approach, as explained in Counsels’ opinion.
Your reply clears this up thank you. Yes the young man’s mother is checking the DRE which has not been updated for a couple of years. The Norfolk case is v interesting - I suggested that the young man and his mother ask Leigh Day for assistance but they received a polite no due to lack of capacity. I cannot imagine how they would succeed without some legal support to challenge a County Council.
Do you remember when we tried to explain the benefit system on earnings to Jeremy Hunt?!
Glad to help Judy. I do find it incredibly frustrating that the process for resolving problems with social care isn’t really fit for purpose.
If your client can’t secure any formal legal assistance, we do produce a factsheetHow to resolve problems and complain about social care which sets out what needs to be done with the local authority before you can onto challenge via the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman. As I’m sure you know, that can take a long time before you get near any decision.
My social care specialist has recently been asked to comment on the need for independent judicial scrutiny of social care decision making by the EHRC so we’re hoping they might follow up and bring some pressure to be bear - the legislation is already in the Care Act 2014 (section 72) but its never been formally enacted.