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Social Services

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 14 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether the terms “equivalent level of support” and “no cash losers” used by her Department are regarded as synonymous for the purposes the proposals in the Government's Social Care Green Paper. (307668)

As we said in the Green Paper, if we do reform disability benefits for older people, anyone receiving an affected benefit at the time of reform would continue to receive an equivalent level of support and protection. We have confirmed that this means they would not experience a cash loss as a result of any such reforms. This is consistent with our Green Paper position.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what assessment she has made of the effect of the Government’s policy of no cash losers on the reforms proposed in the Social Care Green Paper; (307670)

(2) whether a person in receipt of (a) attendance allowance and (b) disability living allowance prior to the introduction of the proposals contained in the Government’s Social Care Green Paper would continue to receive the full social care entitlement following the introduction of those proposals;

(3) what estimate she has made of the cost to the public purse of implementing the Government’s policy of no cash losers in respect of the Social Care Green Paper;

(4) what estimate she has made of the number of people who would be eligible for (a) attendance allowance and (b) disability living allowance on existing criteria who would cease to receive assistance under each proposal set out in her Department’s Green Paper on Social Care;

(5) pursuant to the contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions of 8 December 2009, Official Report, column 206, what plans the Government has to disburse attendance allowance and disability living allowance or a cash equivalent through local authorities.

We have not taken any decisions on whether some benefits for older people will be reformed in the new care and support system. If disability benefits for older people are reformed as part of the National Care Service, those receiving the affected benefits at the time of reform would continue to receive the same level of cash support. We will give more details about the National Care Service offer in due course.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what research her Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the relationship between the group of people who receive (i) attendance allowance and (ii) disability living allowance and groups of people who would receive support under the proposals in the Government’s Social Care Green Paper. (307677)

We have not taken any decisions on whether some benefits for older people will be reformed in the new care and support system. If we do decide to integrate some benefits for older people into the new care and support system, we will provide further details in our White Paper.

The Personal Social Services Research Unit, which is part of the London School of Economics, has been commissioned by the Department of Health to conduct detailed financial modelling of the new care and support system. Their methodology and interim report was published on their website in July:

http://www.pssru.ac.uk/pdf/dp2644.pdf

and in the impact assessment published alongside the Green Paper. This work is ongoing. A copy of the report has been placed in the Library.