Pictured above is Mary, 67, with her daughter, Nimali. In February 2022, Nimali was told by her council that she would now have to contribute towards her social care charges. Her only income is her disability benefits, leaving her and her parents - who live on a state pension - with little left to live on.
Read the latest update about the Too Little Left to Live On campaign about the Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG)
We've just heard the fantastic news that the Government has agreed to increase the Minimum Income Guarantee in line with inflation. This news comes after nearly 600 Mencap supporters sent a message to their MPs about this issue.
This means that, for those being charged by the Local Authority for their care and support, they will be allowed to keep more of the income they receive from their benefits before they are asked to pay towards their social care.
This increase, only the 2nd since MIG levels were introduced in 2015, will see some single working age adults being able to keep up to £820 per year extra in the bank accounts and, as a result, will also see the amount that they are charged for their care and support fall.
Mencap has been increasingly concerned about rapid rises in care charges in recent years which has led to many people with a learning disability being left with too little to live on.
This welcome announcement gives families some welcome breathing room as the cost of living soars. But it does not detract from the fact that the care charging system remains fundamentally unfair. People should not lost their benefits purely because they access social care, especially those with lifelong conditions that make it impossible to save or plan for their care costs.
The increase in MIG is the first step towards a fairer system. We now need to see the government grasp the nettle and:
- Review the sufficiency of the new MIG levels to ensure they leave people with enough money to live on
- Reform care charges more widely, so that:
- Benefits can no longer be counted as income for the purposes of care charging
- Minimum income levels for disabled people are equalised with the higher amounts that over-65s are allowed to retain
- Local authority practices around the amount that disabled people are allowed to keep to pay for the additional costs of disability (Disability Related Expenditure) is reviewed to ensure that it fairly reflects actual additional costs
We will keep campaigning to build on this progress and ensure a fairer care charges system.