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Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG)

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Dear Department of Health and Social Care,
Does the Minister of State and everyone involved in the current review of the MIG rates realise the devastating impact on the disabled if the rates for 2023/2024 are not increased in line why inflation?

Yours faithfully,

Jim Cowley

Department of Health and Social Care

Our ref: DE-1437361
Dear Mr Cowley,
Thank you for your correspondence of 7 February about the Minimum Income
Guarantee (MIG). I have been asked to reply.

I appreciate your concerns.

To allow people receiving means-tested support to keep more of their own
income, the MIG and Personal Expenses Allowance (PEA) were increased in
line with inflation on 6 April 2022. They will continue to rise in line
with inflation for the next financial year (2023-24). Local authorities
have the ability to set higher rates for the PEA and MIG if they wish; the
new regulations will simply set the statutory minimum. The Government is
aware that some local authorities do make use of this discretion. 

Regulations under the Care Act 2014 provide that, where a local authority
takes disability benefits into account when assessing what a person can
afford to pay for their care and support, it must allow the person to keep
enough for any disability-related expenditure they incur. The local
authority should also allow people to retain enough of their benefits to
meet their needs that are not met by the local authority. The benefits
system is in place to avoid people falling into poverty and, where people
drawing on care and support receive benefits, they are only expected to
pay what they are assessed to be able to afford.  
On 26 May 2022, the Government announced a range of cost-of-living
measures to provide financial assistance to millions of households across
the UK, including over £15billion of support for those with the greatest
need. The one-off £650 Cost of Living Payment will support low-income
households on means-tested benefits, helping over eight million households
across the UK. The first instalment of £326 was paid to most eligible
people in July 2022. Additional support to help disabled people with the
extra costs they will face is also being provided; six million people will
receive a one-off Disability Cost of Living Payment of £150.
The Government has required the above payments to be disregarded when
assessing what people should contribute towards their social care costs.
This means that local authorities cannot take them into account when
determining someone’s contributions, ensuring that people can retain the
cost-of-living support in full.

I hope this reply is helpful.

Yours sincerely,
C Winters
Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries
Department of Health and Social Care

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