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Dudley Council the historic capital of the Black Country
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Consultation to review the financial means test applied to allowances paid to Adopters, Special Guardians, Residence and Child Arrangement Order holders.

Consultation period

The consultation period will commence from 24 June 2019 and close on 22 July 2019 at 5pm

Introduction

The council needs to continue to deliver cost efficient services to the residents of the borough and must ensure that all revenue is spent appropriately and targeted at our most vulnerable residents.

We are considering changing the way we undertake the financial means test applied to these allowances and are consulting on the proposed changes.

What we are proposing?

We are proposing several changes to the methodology we currently use to means test claimants of allowances. The key areas of change we are proposing are:

• We no longer want to disregard 20% of household income
• We will reduce the calculation for household expenditure (this is currently 125% of the Income Support equivalent)
• Other household expenditure will only include rent/mortgage and council tax payments
• Child care will only be considered an expense if this enables employment
• We will be asking for more financial evidence of means and expenditure to be provided
• We are redefining who are household members to include the birth parent of a child if living in the same household
• We are introducing means testing to former Connected Carers and Foster Carers to take into account any additional benefits they receive for the child in the initial two years after the court order extending this to a full means test of all household means after the two years have expired. NB this will not affect allowances which were agreed as a non-reviewed allowance and will not affect any fee payment that may have been agreed for Foster Carers.

How can the general public take part?

Online

People can tell us what they think by filling in the consultation questionnaire online (our preferred method of response). https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SGOallowance

In Person

Those directly affected (who would have received a letter with the questionnaire, a factsheet and a stamped addressed envelope for its return) can also request an office appointment for assistance in completing the consultation document. An appointment can be made by calling 01384 816595

By Post

Those directly affected are encouraged to return the completed questionnaire in the stamped addressed envelope they will have been sent

Members of the public can request hard copies or alternative formats by emailing or telephoning 01384 816595