The future for Attendance Allowance?
Attendance Allowance devolution is buried in business rate retention consultation.
PLEASE READ AND RESPOND
The consultation on the future of Attendance Allowance ends 26th Sept 2016, pilots are planned for April 2017, roll out by end of Parliament.
AgeUK are campaigning to prevent this from happening and we lend our full support to them.
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Attendance Allowance is the most straight forward disability related benefit of all, trusted as a non means tested benefit for older people it is one that most professionals can understand and communicate with some degree of knowledge. With a need to work towards financial capability for care and promote behavioural change for the way care is chosen and paid to devolve Attendance Allowance at this time may save money in the short term but it will withdraw a vital tool advice tool, lead to a lack of consumer confidence and very possibly impact on both non means tested AND means tested income of our most vulnerable older people.
Driving people to the Local Authority to improve access to quality assured information and advice is a positive vision but despite the best efforts of the Care Act 2014 it isn't happening. Why? Because 1) Local Authority and NHS teams are stretched beyond capacity already 2) care funding advice is specialised advice area, often complex and confusing for individuals and professionals alike. Often beyond the scope of Local Authority and NHS teams it is a subject for care funding advisers - regulated and unregulated.
Requiring the Local Authority to administer Attendance Allowance will not help them to promote well-being, personalisation and independence, it will not promote integrated advice, make best use of menu driven information or encourage joined up working it will lead to yet more isolated 'silo' advice provision and is a move backwards towards a patchy, post code lottery and a loss of consumer confidence.
This consultation is based on the government’s proposal to allow local government to retain 100% of the business rates they raise locally with 36 questions around fiscal devolution including LA management of Attendance Allowance, mentioned on page 19.
The government has proposed transferring Attendance Allowance from the DWP to local authorities, as part of its plans to reform local government financing.
The options examined are ;
Transfer AA spending to the local authority ASC system
Administration of AA system by local authorities
New universal, disability-related cash payment for older people paid by local authorities
AgeUK have a campaigned to prevent this from happening and we lend our full support to them. Please sign and share this letter