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With costs rising and government funding being cut, councils are increasingly seeking to make savings in their care budgets – and for elderly disabled people, this can mean substantial increases in the contributions they are required to make towards the care they receive.
When a council wishes to reassess the amount of financial support it provides in the way of personal budgets to its clients, it will follow a procedure called a resource allocation system (RAS). In a RAS, ‘points’ are awarded depending on the level of ‘eligible needs’ for which care is required.
Only when an assessment of eligible needs has been made can the council consider whether the needs are such that it is necessary for it to make arrangements to provide services. At this point, the council’s budgetary constraints do come into play, and where the council provides a direct payment to the disabled person, it is allowed to consider whether or not the cost of securing the services for which it is paying is reasonable based on available resources. It may then seek to reduce the support given.