Is government reassurance that care charges won’t swallow cost of living payment true?

Money: Rishi Sunak is offering cost of living payments of £800 for people with disabilities – but are government assurances that the payment won’t be taken by councils worth the time taken to provide them?

Are you convinced by this?

Concerns had been raised that people with disabilities will not gain any benefit from government payments of £650 for those on means-tested benefits, and another £150 for recipients of disability benefits.

This is because disabled people receiving social care provided in their own homes by their local council must make a financial contribution – usually everything above the minimum income of £94.15 per week.

So, in theory, all £800 of the cost-of-living support provided by the government could be taken by local authorities in care charges.

Challenged on this by Disability News Service, the Department for Health and Social Care has said it does not think the payment will be taken by councils.

The DHSC reckons that, because the payment is a one-off, it will not be considered as regular income and so will not be included in disabled people’s regular incomes and affect the so-called Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG).

That’s all very well – but why not simply make an announcement to that effect?

If the government stipulates that this money may not be considered in council’s calculations, then councils will have to accept that, and leave the cash alone.

Without such a rule, there is no cast-iron guarantee that this will happen. I wonder why the Tories haven’t bothered to make it already. And I wonder how many other people are in a similar situation.

Source: Government eases concerns over cost-of-living payment care charge fears – Disability News Service

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