Disabled to be asked to pay towards home care

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PEOPLE receiving home care in Derbyshire will be asked to pay half their disability living and attendance allowance towards the service under new plans agreed by councillors.

Derbyshire County Council announced the change following a consultation and promise no-one will pay more than £200 a week.

The new measure will be introduced from April 11, and only people with more than £50,000 savings will be asked to contribute more of their benefits.

The council says the plans will save £12.3 million from the adult care services budget over the next three years. The level of eligibility for home care was also raised from moderate to higher moderate needs.

Other proposals included asking residents to take out a warranty to cover the cost of maintenance to stairlifts, hoists and lifts, and ending automatic top-up grants for major adaptations to disabled people’s homes.

Changes to the council’s meals and laundry service were also discussed during the consultation, and a further report will be prepared on the issue.

More than 4,000 people gave their views through questionnaires. The council say the majority of people who commented agreed a contribution should be made.

Charles Jones, cabinet member for adult care, said: “Although the majority of people told us they did not agree with raising the eligibility of care level, we have no choice but to introduce a change to protect services for the most vulnerable. We will be investing more money in prevention services to help to meet the needs of people who may not qualify for care following an assessment.

“Doing nothing was not an option and if we had continued as we were we would be facing a potential shortfall of around £90m over the next four to five years.”