People with preserved rights: A socially excluded minority

William Laing

This study assesses different policy options to address the anomalous position of care homes residents with 'preserved rights'.

By August 1999, there were still some 64,000 care home residents whose only source of state funding was 'preserved rights' Income Support. The main brunt of financial disadvantage is borne by older claimants and their families in the more affluent parts of the country, where Income Support limits are insufficient to meet typical market fee rates.

In addition, claimants of all ages are excluded from non-financial support and advocacy offered by social services departments under the community care reforms, which have passed preserved rights residents by. The author concludes that the best option is to abolish the preserved rights regime and transfer funding and care management for claimants to local authorities. The research shows that the cost to the state of meeting fee shortfalls would be small. The largest impact would be the extra cost to local authorities of purchasing and care management arrangements.

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