Managing the community care budget

We asked for your views on proposed changes to the community care budget including eligibility criteria and the way we calculate disability related expenditure.

Who took part?

We consulted a wide range of people within the community, including:

  • service users whose community support is paid for by the council
  • unpaid carers
  • County Council staff
  • members of the public
  • partner organisations, such as district councils
  • voluntary, independent and community organisations
  • social care service providers.

Background information

Adult Social Care offers support to people based on an assessment of their needs. Due to reductions in public spending we need to think carefully about how we spend the community care budget – this is money that the council has to spend on social care – and who can receive services.

Eligibility criteria

There are four levels of need: low, moderate, substantial and critical. We currently offer support to people who have a 'substantial' or 'critical' need. We are considering focusing on providing support to people with a 'critical' level of need. These levels of need are described in the Frequently asked questions document below.

We would continue to offer a range of universal services such as information and advice, and preventative services, such as telecare, and reablement services.

Disability related expenditure

To work out what you should pay for the support you receive, we use the Fairer Contributions Policy. Currently, if you get certain disability related benefits this policy asks for detailed evidence of the extra money you spend because of your disability (for example, on extra laundry or special diets). We call this ‘disability related expenditure'.

Instead, we are proposing to simplify the way we calculate disability related expenditure, by taking into account weekly set amounts when working out how much you should pay towards your care.

For more information on the consultation, the proposed changes, and how they could affect you please download the information leaflets at the bottom of this page.

Taking part

This consultation closed on Wednesday 23 February 2011.

There were a number of ways you could give your views :

  • through an online survey
  • using a printable response form below and post back free of charge
  • or just by sending us your comments by email or post, using the contact details below
  • we provided copies of the documents below translated into Bengali and Polish.

What you have told us

We received 4,547 questionnaires in response to the consultation. Of those, 40% of people agreed with the proposed changes to disability related expenditure, 24% neither agreed nor disagreed, 12% didn't know and 24% disagreed. Of the 40% of people who agreed with the proposal and added a comment, 22% felt the proposal would simplify the administration process.

The majority of people (55%) disagreed with the proposed change to eligibility criteria, 29% agreed with the change (although some of the comments suggested people may have meant to disagree), 12% neither agreed or disagreed and 4% didn't know.

What will happen as a result

During the consultation we received confirmation that the Council will receive as extra £6.9 million towards Adult Social Care.

With this additional money from the Dept for Health the Council is able to continue to offer support to people with substantial and critical needs. The decision was confirmed at the Council meeting on 8 February.

We have since published a paper that confirms our eligibility criteria position (Item 4 under the link to Lead Member papers below).

We presented the disability related expenditure results to the Lead Member for Adult Social Care on 21 March 2011. The recommendation to introduce the bandings of £15 or £25 was agreed. People will still be able to request an assessment if they prefer.

We will implement the disability related expenditure changes for new service users from Monday 11 April 2011. People already in receipt of services will currently be having any financial contributions to their services reviewed (this happens annually).

Letters are currently being sent out to people about their charges for next year, and details on the disability related expenditure changes will be part of this process.


If you have any queries about this survey, or you need a copy of it in a different format – such as large print, braille, or in a different language – please contact:

Phone: 01273 481565

Post: Community Care Budget consultation
East Sussex County Council
North – A Floor
County Hall, St Anne's Crescent
Lewes, BN7 1UE.

Acrobat (PDF)
Leaflet - Consultation on qualifying for Adult Social Care (611k)
A downloadable version of our printed leaflet, which includes sections about the possible impact on social care providers, charities and voluntary organisations. (2 pages)
Leaflet - our Consultation on Disability Related Expenditure (610k)
A downloadable version of our printed leaflet about who would be affected by these proposals, and how. (2 pages)
Frequently Asked Questions (19k)
Includes useful descriptions of what we mean by 'critical' and 'substantial' needs. (2 pages)
Letter to services users and carers (9k)
This letter from the Director of Adults Social Care urged all service users and carers to take part in the consultation process. It was sent in January 2011. (2 pages)
Response form - printable version (24k)
Equivalent to the online form above, but in pdf format. Includes the text on this web page and details of the Freepost return address. (4 pages)
Large print - qualifying for Adult Social Care (382k)
(4 pages)
Large print - Disability Related Expenditure (381k)
(4 pages)
Large print - Frequently Asked Questions (391k)
(7 pages)
Easy Read - consultation leaflet (221k)
(7 pages)
Easy read - Response form (185k)
(11 pages)