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Health and Social Care Act 2001

Section 53: Disregarding of resources when determining need for residential accommodation

258.Currently local authorities can only support people in residential accommodation who are in need of care and attention which is ‘not otherwise available to them’. Local authorities may refuse to support a person who has capital in excess of £18,500, (the current amount of money councils are not allowed to take into account when carrying out a means test) and the capacity to make their own arrangements on the grounds that they have care and attention otherwise available to them (the implication is that the £18,500+ capital could be used to meet care costs).

259.Section 53 enables the Secretary of State to specify in regulations certain capital that is to be ignored by local authorities in determining whether care and attention is ‘otherwise available’.

260.This section will allow regulations to be made in the future which break the link with the capital limit when determining whether care and attention is “otherwise available”, so that more people are able to take up the offer of a charge against their home to pay for their accommodation. Charges against homes are dealt with in section 55.

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