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At least 166,000 in Social Care Debt and more than 1,100 taken to court

05 June 2018

At least 166,000 trapped in social care debt, GMB investigation reveals.

The Freedom of Information requests, submitted to every local authority in Great Britain with responsibility for social care, also show at least 1,178 people have been taken to court by local authorities for social care debts.

Of the total of at least 166,835 people who are in arrears on their social care payments, more than 78,000 have debt management procedures started against them by their authority for non-payment of social care charges.

The true figure is likely to be higher as some authorities didn't respond.

Ken Butler, Welfare Rights Adviser for Disability Rights UK said:

"This high level of debt among social care users shows the urgent need for reform of the whole social care system.

"Many disabled people are told that their care needs are not high enough to receive social care.

"But it’s clear that many who do meet the high threshold cannot afford the care charges imposed.

"Disabled people have been the worst hit by welfare benefit cuts. The introduction of PIP has led to 25% of people losing their DLA and many with a reduced award.

"Around half of new PIP claimants receive no award at all. One consequence of this is that disabled people have even less money to fund what is an often an inadequate care package.

"The situation uncovered by the GMB shows the need for urgent reform of both the welfare benefit and social care systems. Good social care should be a right to all that need it and should not mean falling into a spiral of debt in order to pay for it”

Get your free guide to the Care Act: What you need to know about social care in England. For for more detailed information you can order a copy of the Disability Rights Handbook from our shop