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Housing Benefit

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 21 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the number of people with learning disabilities who may lose entitlement to housing benefit as a result of their accommodation being registered as a care home by the National Care Standards Commission. [113968]

There was no intention through the Care Standards Act to widen the scope of regulation to new types of accommodation that had not previously been required to register as care homes. The type of care provided in a home, which will trigger registration is fundamentally unchanged. We have not, therefore, made an assessment.Whether a particular establishment needs to register as a care home is a matter for the National Care Standards Commission (NCSC). Statutory guidance was issued to the NCSC in August 2002 explaining in broad terms where registration as a care home is required and how to distinguish care homes from supported housing of various kinds. Proprietors can appeal against decisions they don't agree with.