HC Deb 03 December 2001 vol 376 cc133-4W
Mr. Drew

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on what powers local authorities have to treat attendance allowance as a means-tested benefit for the purpose of social care charges. [19903]

Jacqui Smith

[holding answer 30 November 2001]: Councils have discretion under the Health and Social Security Adjudications Act 1983 to decide whether to take Attendance Allowance into account when assessing ability to pay charges for home care and other nonresidential social services. Statutory guidance issued to councils on 23 November 2001 expects councils which take attendance allowance into account to undertake a specific assessment of a person's disability-related expenditure, to ensure that any charge is reasonable. This guidance will be implemented by no later than 1 October 2002 for people receiving more than 10 hours home care weekly and no later than 1 April 2003 for all other service users.

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