Cost of caring for adults at home in Northumberland set to rise

Cost of caring for adults at home in Northumberland set to rise

Plans to increase charges for some adults receiving home care in Northumberland have been backed by councillors.

A number of amendments to Northumberland County Council’s charges for care and support services for adults were signed off by the cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday, but are now subject to final approval from the full council next Wednesday.

It follows a consultation in the two months before the Christmas break on six proposed changes to the charging policy for non-residential care and support services, with every current service user who could be affected written to individually.

These changes, which would apply from April 8, are:

The standard allowance for disability-related costs for people getting the highest rates of the main non-means-tested disability benefits is to be reduced to £35, which would increase the weekly charge for most people by £13.30.

The minimum income figures for members of a couple as set out in national regulations are to be adopted, while capping the additional charge for working-age adults, in order to end an anomaly which means that people with a spouse or partner often pay less than single people in similar circumstances.

Charges for home care will now take account of the full cost to the council, up to the limit of what the person is assessed as able to afford to pay, with exceptions for the ‘very rural’ areas and other special circumstances. Currently, it is subsidised in rural areas to match the lower cost of home care in South East Northumberland, where travel times are much shorter and it is easier to find carers.