Keeping your social care support when you move areas

Tell your new local authority and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that you’re going to move.

Your new local authority should give you a needs assessment. It cannot change your care until you have a new care plan.

Your new care plan may be different. If your new plan does not meet your needs, you should complain.

Being disabled can mean that you have to pay for extra costs. Check how much your new local authority thinks being disabled is costing you. This affects how much the local authority will pay for your care and how much you will need to pay.

Your benefits may change when you move. If you’re not claiming Universal Credit, you may need to make a new claim. New claims can mean waiting up to 5 weeks for your first payment.

Before you move

Tell your new and old local authority that you’re going to move.

You will also need to tell the DWP that your circumstances will change.

List of benefits and who to contact (GOV.UK)

Your new local authority must assess you

You have the legal right to the care in your old plan until your new local authority gives you a care needs assessment. This right is called the ‘continuity duty’ and is in the Care Act 2014.

Your care providers could change. For example, your new local authority might change your PA to a new one from a different agency.

Residential care

In some situations, your old local authority may carry on paying for your residential care, or your new authority might start paying. If bills are unpaid because they disagree about who will pay, contact your old local authority.

You will carry on getting residential care regardless.

Needs assessment process for social care

Your care plan might change

Your old local authority must give your new local authority a copy of your old care plan. Your new local authority does not have to follow it, but they must give you a new care needs assessment if they are going to change your care plan.

If your care plan is reduced, the local authority needs to say why in the new care plan.

Getting a needs assessment (NHS.UK)

Challenging your assessment

Your assessment should look at your needs on your good and bad days. Your new care plan should describe what you need and how your care will help you to get it. These are called ‘outcomes’.

If your plan does not meet your outcomes, you should make a complaint. Look for the complaints procedure on your new local authority’s website.

By law, your local authority must give your written assessment.

Keep copies of everything you send to your local authority and everything that they send you.

If you feel that your local authority does not meet the outcomes in your care, you should challenge the assessment.

Think about:

  • what would happen to you on a bad day if you were not supported
  • what would happen to your wellbeing and safety if your needs are not met
  • how reducing the amount of care will affect you
  • what you need to meet the outcomes in your care plan

Check your extra costs

Your local authority may require you to pay for some of the care you need. You will pay less when:

  • your income is lower
  • you spend more on the extra costs of being disabled

Rules on providing receipts vary from area to area. It should include anything that’s not in your care and support plan that you have to pay for because you’re disabled. DWP benefits may also be available for these.

Extra costs include specific equipment, like walking frames, and anything else that you use more because you’re disabled. For example:

  • ready meals if you’re condition means that you cannot cook
  • more heating if you have to spend more time at home
  • using taxis if you condition means that you cannot use public transport

Complain about unfair decisions

Your local authority might not agree that something counts as disability-related expenditure.

If your local authority makes an unfair decision, you should complain. If you’re unhappy with how your local authority manages your complaint:

Warning Moving may affect your benefits

If you’re not receiving Universal Credit, you will need to make a new claim for Universal Credit when you move. It could be up to 5 weeks before you get your first payment. It may be possible to get an advance payment.

The Housing Benefit element of your claim will be based on your new rent. If your income is lower after you move, you may pay less for your social care.

Last reviewed by Scope on: 01/04/2019

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