The Isle of Wight Council’s Executive is to consider proposals to change how it treats additional expenses related to disability, when it meets next week following a two-month consultation earlier this year with all relevant service users (1,298 people), as well as key stakeholders, including People Matter Isle of Wight.
Currently the council allows service users with a disability a flat rate allowance of £10 a week (within their non-residential financial assessment) to meet additional costs due to their disability – even if these costs are less than £10.
Under the recommended changes the council will introduce a process which is fairer and more robust. It is proposing to remove the allowance of £10 per week within the financial assessment for all users – and instead in each case calculate the actual additional costs incurred as part of the assessment.
Although it means some people will no longer receive an allowance for disability related expenditure if they are able to manage their disability at no additional cost, overall the system will be fairer.
It is also recommended the council will use its discretion as to whether individual service users will have to provide receipts as proof of their additional costs.
The proposed changes and consultation are set against a backdrop of the council facing savings of £28 million over three years. It is estimated the proposals may give a full-year saving of £300,000 by 2016/2017.
If approved, the changes will be introduced from 1st November this year. The executive will meet on Tuesday 7th October.
Cabinet member for adult social care and community wellbeing, Councillor Steve Stubbings, said:
“The proposals due to be considered by the Executive were the subject of a two-month consultation with service users and stakeholders earlier this year.
“The recommendation before the Executive takes account of this consultation and also the views we received during this process.
“As many people will know, the council is facing significant financial challenges and, as a result, we are having to take a look at all our costs. We are introducing a fairer and more robust approach to disability related expenditure which focuses on making sure people receive support when they really need it.”