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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Universal credit administration  →  Thread

Financial Assesments for Care

soozy
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COVENTRY CITY COUNCIL FINANCIAL ASSESSMENTS TEAM

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Joined: 15 July 2011

When doing financial assessments for home care and residential care we have followed regulations and disregarded the enhanced disability premium.  I did an assessment recently for a 20 yr old male who is receiving ESA with the disability income guarantee.  Our regs have not been updated and only refer to ICB which was counted in full.  Can anyone help.

[ Edited: 5 Jan 2012 at 02:24 pm by soozy ]
Shaun Kelly
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Welfare benefits group - Leeds City Council

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Hi

The guidance for charging for non residential social services was issued in September 2003, Fairer Charging Policies for Home Care and other non residential social services, and as far as I am aware it has not been updated.  Therefore no references to ESA.  It applies a buffer zone when calculating charges of basic IS + 25%.  The EDP is included as basic IS but the SDP can be included in the calculation for charging.  The guidance also refers to the guarantee credit of PC + 25%.

You have raised an interesting point on charging policies as there appears to be no definition of basic income related ESA.  Would it include the components as well as the premiums with the exception of SDP?  Do LA’s still apply IS + 25%  even if income related ESA is in payment?  In other words the original calculation for the buffer zone is still valid .  What chance of any update when Universal Credit is here?

You referred to IB which is counted in full as income in the charging process.  The same should apply to contribution based ESA.

I’ll take it up with our own charging team and maybe a referral to NAFAO their national organisation.

Shaun

soozy
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COVENTRY CITY COUNCIL FINANCIAL ASSESSMENTS TEAM

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Thanks for that, anything else you find would be helpful

[ Edited: 6 Jan 2012 at 11:05 am by soozy ]
Shaun Kelly
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Welfare benefits group - Leeds City Council

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Hi

There was no national guidance issued following the introduction of ESA and so I assume each charging authority has made its own decision. 

In Leeds for all ESA cases we use the assessment phase rate, the support component (32.35) and any other relevant premiums, except SDP, in creating the buffer zone.  This is higher than the Disability Premium. (28.85).  The outcome is that the buffer zone for ESA cases is higher than that for Income Support + 25%.  If it was lower than Income Support buffer zone it would fail the national guidance.

Shaun

Ken Butler
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Disability Rights UK

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Not sure if this is helpful.

The Department of Heath has published Fairer Contributions Guidance 2010 Calculating an Individual’s Contribution to
their Personal Budget.

This contains the following in relation to the introduction of ESA -

“Changes to DWP benefits mentioned in Fairer Charging Guidance

... From October 27 2008, Employment Support Allowance (ESA) replaced Incapacity Benefit and
Income Support paid on the grounds of incapacity for new claimants. Existing claimants before
that date continue to receive Incapacity Benefit and Income Support where appropriate. The
net levels of income below which service users should not be reduced still apply, however it
should be noted that the premiums for ESA differ slightly from those for Income Support. The
disability premium does not apply to ESA and instead there is a Support Component and a
Work Related Activity Component.”

Here is a link to the above guidance -

http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_121224

Jane OP
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The National Autistic Society, Welfare Rights, Nottingham

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In my experience LAs are treating ESA as income in the same way that IS/IB is, and are using the old IS + 25% calculation. I think this is the correct interpretation, as Shaun points out LAs are free to use other ways of calculating it as long as the result is never below the basic Fairer Charging level.

I was briefly hopeful that people who got a EDP due to being in the ESA support group rather than via high rate care would get the EDP in the fairer charging calculation, but unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be so.

I’ve not had anyone yet who is on ESA and not getting DLA who has been financially assessed. Based on the guidance would they get no disability premium at all?

I bet they don’t update Fairer Charing when UC, PIP etc arrive. It’s going to be fun trying to interpret the guidance when none of the benefits it is based on exist any more!