Vulnerable people in Leeds face paying thousands more each year in council charges

Leeds Civic Hall (left). Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Leeds Civic Hall (left). Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

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Around 400 vulnerable people accessing supported living and home care services in Leeds could face an increase in charges of £2,400 or more per year.

New plans by Leeds City Council could see older people, those with mental health issues and disabled people who regularly use services like day centres, mental health day services and housing support face paying a bigger contribution to the cost.

The move forms part of proposals to change the way that the local authority charges for non-residential adult social care services which would see the existing £215 cap on the maximum weekly contribution people pay for support removed.

The council says charges would rise for 2,600 vulnerable people in the city, generating an extra £3.8million each year.

A report to the council’s health scrutiny board, which will discuss the idea on Tuesday, said that the review “is taking place in the context of the financial challenges facing the council, the growing demand for adult social care services and the lower income from adult social care charges in Leeds compared with other authorities”.

It stated that two-thirds of those accessing the services, which equates to 5,200 people, would not see their charges increase while customers in Leeds will “continue to pay less than in many authorities”.

The report from the council’s director of adult social services also stressed that there are no plans to increase charges for individual services.

Charges made to people accessing the services are determined through a financial assessment that shows whether a person can afford to contribute based on factors like their benefits, housing and disability-related costs.

The proposals would be phased in from next April, before the cap is removed completely from April 2017.

People accessing adult social care services in Leeds, voluntary organisations, health partners and staff have been invited to share their views during a consultation running until December 11.