Social care charges in Kingston: 2011 changes

In 2011 Kingston Council adopted its new contributions (charges) policy for adult social care services despite vigorous opposition from disabled and older people and their fellow campaigners.

The campaign against the increase in charges in Kingston

Responses to the consultation

Campaign press releases

NOTE: for an illustration of how the new policy could affect disabled and older people with high care needs, see the letter to Derek Osbourne dated 8 July 2011

Principal differences between the new policy and the old policy

  • People with savings of more than £23,250 will have to fund all their own support
  • There is no ‘cap’ or maximum charge for support – depending on their income and capital, people can be charged up to the full cost of their services or the full amount of their direct payment or personal budget
  • People will be charged up to 75% of their ‘available income’ (after allowances) rather than 50% under the old policy.

Detailed differences between the old and new policies are shown in this table:

Old policy New policy
Income taken into account All income received by the service user not including earned income
No change
Savings charge calculated using a tariff (then added to actual income to calculate total income) Savings up to £14,250 disregarded No change
Tariff income on savings above disregard:  £1 per £500 savings Tariff income on savings above disregard:  £1 per £250 savings
All savings over £14,250 used to calculate tariff income Service user with savings over £23,250 in total to pay full cost of service (or fund whole of personal budget)
Disregards and allowances made against total income (to calculate available income) There are a number of allowances and disregards deducted from your total income No change
Amount of disposable (available) income subject to charge Up to 50% of disposable (available) income charged for services Service user expected to contribute up to 75% of disposable (available) income towards their care
Maximum charge/contribution Cost to RBK of providing the service or amount of direct payment/personal budget, or £155.66, whichever is the lower Cost to RBK of providing the service or amount of direct payment/personal budget (no upper limit)
Method of collection of charge/contribution Service user is invoiced monthly for assessed charge for care services Personal budget is paid to service user net of assessed contribution (implemented immediately for new service users and after two years for existing service users who do not yet receive a personal budget). Invoices can still be sent if individual circumstances mean that is appropriate.