Paying for Care Handbook (Fifth Edition)

Paying For Care Handbook (Fifth Edition)

Star Rating: 3/5

Helen Winfield et al, Child Poverty Action Group

ISBN: 1901698816, £18.50

One of the problems in producing welfare rights material is that you are always trying to hit a moving target. No sooner is it ready for the printers then those inconsiderate devils in the Department for Work and Pensions tweak the rules and whole chapters become obsolete overnight, writes Gary Vaux.

The Paying for Care Handbook is an excellent guide but it suffers from having an annual publication date. As the authors admit, the information is correct as of 23 October 2005. And it is not only correct, but detailed, informative, clearly written and essential for anyone who is involved in community care and residential assessments (financial and otherwise). But the time lag between production and publication is unfortunate.

Received for review in early 2006, the benefit rates it quotes are all now out of date. There have been changes in the interim period to residential care charging assessments too – new capital limits, new figures for personal expenses – and the benefit rules for people in hospital have changed radically (although to be fair, that change is flagged-up as pending).

The handbook will give you an excellent insight into the general principles that underlay domiciliary and residential charging, and the interaction with the benefit system, but you will need to supplement it.

Gary Vaux is Community Care’s welfare rights expert and head of money advice at Hertfordshire Council.

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