§ The Countess of Mar
asked Her Majesty's Government:
To publish in table form the rates of social security benefits payable currently: for tax year 1992–93 and for tax year 1993–94 on an exemplified basis, to elderly or disabled claimants with capital of:
- (a) under £3,000;
- (b) £7,750;
- (c) £10,000;
- (d) over £16,000;
and who require: 20WA
- (i) private residential care;
- (ii) private nursing-home care;
- (iii) local authority care;
- (iv) domiciliary care.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Henley)
The main benefit help available to people in residential care and nursing homes is income support. This is available to people in such homes to help them meet their fees if they have insufficient resources of their own. It is intended to bring the income a person already has up to a set level. That level is the amount of the fees or a set national limit, whichever is the lower, and allowance for personal expenses.
Income support up to the following national limits may be paid to people in independent and voluntary homes:
Residential care homes Limit (£ per week) Elderly and other (including physically disabled over pension age) 160 Very dependent or blind elderly 185 Mentally ill 170 Suffering from drug or alcohol dependency 170 Mentally handicapped 195 Physically disabled and disablement began under pension age 230
Nursing homes Limit (£ per week) Elderly and other (including physically disabled over pension age 255 Mentally ill 255 Suffering from drug or alcohol dependency 255 Mentally handicapped 260 Physically disabled and disablement began under pension age 290 Terminal illness 275
An amount of £11.40 is added for personal expenses in both residential care and nursing homes.
In Greater London, the limits may be increased by an amount of £23 in residential care homes and £33 in hursing homes.
People living in their own homes are entitled to the normal income support levels plus premiums where appropriate and may also qualify for other benefits —for example mobility allowance, invalidity benefit, community charge benefit, housing benefit or retirement pension—depending on their circumstances.
For income support purposes, the first £3,000 of capital is ignored and people with capital of £8,000 or more cannot normally receive income support. A notional income of £1 a week for any part of each £250 is assumed for capital between £3,000 and £8,000.
The effect which capital would have on income support for the examples quoted would be as follows:
- (a) capital under £3,000 would be ignored completely.
- (b) capital of £7,750 would reduce a person's benefit by £19 a week.
- (c) and (d) a person with capital of £8,000 or more cannot receive income support.
The additions available to people in Greater London would also be increased by £2 a week, to £25 for residential care homes and £35 for nursing homes.
Currently, in local authority residential accommodation, income support of £41.60 may be paid towards the minimum charge together with £ 10.40 for personal expenses. The first £1,200 of capital is disregarded and an income of 25 pence a week is assumed for each complete £50 of capital above that level.
On 21st October, the Secretary of State for Social Security announced proposals for substantial increases to the social security benefits from April next year. These would add over £200 million to an annual income support bill of £1,870 million and help over 265,000 people by adding £20 a week to the limits which apply to very dependent elderly and mentally handicapped people in residential care homes (who account for about 40 per cent. of people in such homes). Increases of £15 would be added to almost all the other limits.
Increases to the social security benefits for the following year cannot be predicted.