Charging for social care – special update

In the last two weeks, everyone who was assessed to see if they were liable to contribute towards the cost of their social care will have received a letter telling them the outcome of their assessment.

At Real, we have had lots of clients contact us to let us know that they have been told they need to pay more than they think is fair. Some people have suggested that there are errors in the assessment process. Real are concerned that, in some cases, people may not have received the support they needed and therefore not had all of their qualifying disability related expenses taken into account.

Real has written to the Corporate Director of Health, Adults and Community at Tower Hamlets Council to let them know about our concerns. We have asked for a meeting so we can discuss the issues and solutions around several areas, including:

  • perceived errors in how some financial assessments have been conducted;
  • clarifying processes and rights about appeals to the financial assessment outcomes;
  • people reapplying with amended figures for disability related expenses;
  • evaluating the impact of charging for social care services; and
  • monitoring the number of people terminating or limiting their care arrangements as a result of charging.

After we have met with the council, we will update our website with information on how to appeal decisions. We will also contact all clients who have advised us that they would like support to appeal decisions.

If you would like to appeal your decision, you should contact the Council’s Financial Assessment Team on 020 7364 2038 or by emailing FinancialAssessmentTeam@towerhamlets.gov.uk and let them know you will be appealing.

You can also call Local Link on 020 7001 2175 or by emailing local-link@real.org.uk if you want further information or to leave your contact details so we can keep you up to date on the appeal process and what support we can offer you.

If you want to look at the guidance that Real put together in April 2017 giving examples of disability related expenditure, and other help in completing the assessment, you can find that here.

In the meantime, this is a bill that you will have to pay (unless you subsequently appeal AND that appeal is successful). You should therefore set aside some money to pay it when invoices start arriving in next month.

We recommend that you do not cancel any of your care arrangements until you have more information from Real and/or the council.