Deferred Payment Agreements - Lower than expected uptake

According to the NHS Digital – Adult Social Care activity and finance report during the period 1/4/16 – 31/3/17 there were 6,440 Deferred Payment Agreements made as at 31st March 2017 with a value of £176 million.

There were 2,860 new DPAs starting within the reporting period and over 50 per cent (1,265) were bridging loans to allow for the sale of the clients property.

£720,000 was written off during the reporting period. During the same period, £67.1 million was recovered.

Prior to this latest report the uptake of Deferred Payment Agreements data suggested that only 3,600 DPAs were issued in 2015-16. Less than a third of the Government’s original estimate and lower than the figure in 2012. ‘Reform’ suggested that a higher figure of about 6,000 DPAs were issued in 2015-16 still very much lower than expected than the Government’s projection of 12,300.

Pressure is mounting for an announcement on the future of long term care funding which is currently under review and a Green Paper’ expected “early 2018”. Consideration of the Care Act 2014 part two, it's cap on care costs, a suggested £100’000 ceiling, the so called ‘Dementia Tax’ and a change to property disregards. With between 2008 and 2039, 74 per cent of projected household growth made up of households with someone aged 65 or over, “considering the interplay of DPAs and the overall funding environment will be critical in whether reforms are successful”

“Something is going wrong at the local level in terms of communication between the local authority, individuals and the social care sector.” Wise words from The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord O’Shaughnessy) (Con) during a recent Lords debate on Deferred Payment Agreements

“But we need to understand why there were fewer DPA's than anticipated and to ensure that those who are eligible for them can access one. If there are local authorities where not one has been signed, that suggests that something is going wrong at the local level in terms of communication between the local authority, individuals and the social care sector. So we need to know why that happens”.

Deferred Payment Agreement eligibility is not identified, highlighted or explained because most people don’t know enough about them, including Local Authority staff

To make a difference we have to do something different. Box ticking information doesn’t work. Chaotic signposting doesn’t work. People need personalised care funding advice to understand the care funding options to help them through the care and benefit maze.


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