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The Legal Services Agency is organising a full day conference on Deprivation of Liberty on 19th May this year.
This is to coincide with the Cheshire West judgement which has a number of implications for Scotland in particular with regard to the care and treatment of adults and children with incapacity.
LSA also have a Deprivation of Liberty test case on going in the Court of Session which is considering whether an individual can be deprived of their liberty by virtue of a Continuing and Welfare Power of Attorney.
These topics will likely be of interest to members of LDAS given our recent concerns on the use of Section 13za of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968.
Today LDAS is pleased to launch its 2014 version of the Care Charge Calculator.
· If you are looking for a care service for the first time, you can use this to check what you might be asked to pay.
· If you already have a care service then you can use this to check that the local council has got its sums right or you can check what you might pay in a neighbouring local authority.
It is one of the great injustices in Scotland that not only are people charged for their care services but that those charges vary from council to council by considerable amounts.
You don’t need to be able to work a spreadsheet to use this. All you need are accurate information about your benefits and costs such as rent. You will also need to know what support you will get and if you are going to get an Individual Budget.
This is stored on Google Docs and you can use it freely. You will need to delete any numbers in ColumnB that may have left there by other users. If you want you can download a version of the original Excel Spreadsheet by clicking here.
Please with comments on the results or its ease of use.
Two weeks ago Mike Penning announced the UK government’s decision to go ahead with the closure of the Independent Living Fund from June 2015 for users in England and Wales. Existing funding would be transferred to local authorities and users would become dependent on local authorities assessment of their need and a subsequent allocation of resources.
The situation in Scotland is quite DIFFERENT. The funding for existing ILF user will be transferred to the Scottish Government with effect from June 2015 and they have made a COMMITMENT to honour all existing awards for as long as funds continue to be transferred to them. This means that existing ILF users will be protected in the short term. Future decisions will depend on financial settlements in the long term and the current Scottish Government is clear that they intend to offer this protection for as long as possible.
No public announcement has been made by the Scottish Government to this effect as they have not yet been formally told by the DWP of the decision to close the ILF. This formal notice will include details of the proposed financial assessment and having it is essential to making sure that the Scottish Government can carry out their plans. Some scrutiny of this notice will be needed because the change of dates for the closure of the fund will alter the details of the financial assessment. A formal announcement will follow in due course. The hope is this will be no longer than 2 weeks from today.
Meanwhile the previous plans remain ready to go. The consultation that was carried out last year on the future management of the ILF resources in Scotland is still live and once the financial information has been received then the Minister will consider the analysis of the consultation and the financial information and decide how to go forward. We can hope to see the consultation responses and the analysis of these first published on the Scottish Government website and hopefully shortly after the Scottish Government’s plans for using any spare ILF money as it becomes available.
We would reiterate that for the short term ILF users in Scotland will have their existing support packages maintained.