Changes to assessment of contributions for residential placements

Parliament has passed three statutory instruments which came
into force on 1 October 2001, which have an impact on the way that
residential placements are funded. The following is a brief
description of their impact taken from the explanatory notes of
legislation. The regulations only apply to England.

The National Assistance (Residential Accommodation)
(Relevant Contributions) (England) Regulations 2001.

Section 55 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001 makes
provision for local authorities and residents in residential
accommodation provided for or arranged by the local authority to
enter into a deferred payment agreement. Briefly, the agreement
allows a resident to defer part of the payment which he is liable
to pay to the local authority (that is, his “relevant
contributions”), and in return the resident will allow the local
authority to secure payment of the total amount of relevant
contributions by granting the local authority a charge in their
favour on his home.

These regulations set out how the “relevant contributions” are
to be determined, by calculating the difference between the amount
a person would have to pay for his accommodation when the value of
his or her home is taken into account, and the amount he or she
would have to take into account if it were not.

The National Assistance (Residential Accommodation)
(Additional Payments) (England) Regulations 2001.

In general, local authorities only have to fund a residential
care placement up to the amount that they would normally pay for
such a placement. The explanatory note reads:-

These regulations make provision for additional payments to be
made so that a person who has been assessed as needing residential
accommodation can choose to live in accommodation which is more
expensive than the local authority would usually pay for someone
with that person’s assessed needs. Under these Regulations the
additional payments may be made by a third party, including a
liable relative who is not making payments to maintain the
resident. In certain circumstances, that is when the 12 weeks
property disregard applies or when a deferred payment agreement is
in place, the resident himself may also contribute any or all of
the additional payments.

The National Assistance (Residential Accommodation)
(Disregarding of Resources) (England) Regulations

These regulations vary the capital amounts that must be
disregarded when a local authority decides whether care and
attention is “otherwise available” to a person when assessing their
need for section 21 National Assistance Act 1948. The current limit
on the disregard is (effectively) £18,500, but these
regulations also include the value of a person’s house when they
have entered a “deferred payment agreement” for the payment of fees
(see the first set of regulations above).

Stephen Cragg

Doughty Street Chambers

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