Proposed Changes to Respite Charging

Warwickshire County Council is consulting customers on changing how residential respite is charged for. Currently residential respite is charged for under the residential charging rules. This means that:

  • We take into account the value of your home to determine your ability to pay.
  • We ensure that you retain your personal expenditure allowance (currently £24.90) a week income, but it is assumed that some costs such as food cease whilst you are in respite.
  • We determine a daily limit on charges.

We are proposing to amend this to charging under the community charging rules. This would mean that:

  • Your ability to pay is the same as for all of your other community services (where you receive them).
  • You retain the minimum income guarantee to meet your food and housing requirements; this varies depending on your age and circumstances but is usually between £131.75 and £189.00 per week.
  • We determine a weekly limit on charges.

We want to make this change because:

  • We recognise that respite is essential for many families in order to give breaks for family members who provide support.
  • We recognise that family finances are often mixed and that costs across the household may not change significantly when one member of the household is in respite care.
  • That the way that the ability is assessed may place strain on families in those circumstances and therefore reduce the usage of an important service.

We have looked at the impact of this change for customers. We found that:

  • We had community and residential financial assessments for 59% of customers (225 out of 382 customers who had accessed respite in the last year).
  • Using the information on those assessments, it suggested that 185 customers would have paid lower charges, 24 customers would have paid higher charges and 16 customers would not have seen any change.

In order to help you understand the impact of this change below are two examples of what the change could mean:

Example 1 – Bob

Bob receives State Retirement Pension and Pension Credit totalling £159.35 per week and his savings are £2,000.

Bob’s respite costs £500 a week

He would keep £24.90 per week for personal expenses meaning his assessed charge would be £134.45 per week for Residential Care. Bob attends respite for 4 weeks a year meaning he would be charged a total of £537.80 for that year.

Weekly financial assessment under current policy

Income – £159.35 per week

Less Allowance – £  24.90 per week

Charge – £134.45 per week

If he was charged under the community charging part of the charging policy, he would be assessed as unable to contribute towards the cost of his care because his income is lower than the community charging allowance he keeps towards everyday costs. Bob would therefore pay nothing for his respite stays and would save £537.80 a year.

Weekly financial assessment under community charging policy

Income  – £159.35 per week

Less Personal Allowance – £189.00 per week

Charge – £0.00 per week

Example 2 – Sue

Sue’s respite costs £420 per week (£60 per day); she has an occupational pension and savings of £30,000.

Due to the amount of savings Sue has she must pay the full cost for her stay (£60.00 per day).

Sue has two stays of two days in respite and so she pays £240 for those stays.

Sue’s community assessment also means she must pay the full cost for her stay because of her level of savings and so will continue to pay £240 and there is no change.

Please have your say by completing our short survey HERE.

This consultation will close on the 8th September 2017.

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