Engaging Citizens Online part 6: Online social care financial assessment
February 22, 2017
In Briefing 4, Planning online transactional facilities, we set out the pros and cons of financial self-assessment, noting that ‘some good examples are emerging’.
Progress since then has been slower than hoped for because of four main reasons:
- continued pressure on local resources required for implementation of online systems (ie competing demands on staff and funding.
- service users and carers finding the complexities difficult and the problems in helping with this online.
- problems with integrating online financial assessment systems with other online functions through a single sign-on process
- the postponement of Phase 2 of the Care Act implementation which would have seen a significant increase in the financial assessment caseload.
Nevertheless, many councils have moved forward, using a variety of approaches to make clearer to their residents when they will have to pay for care. Most websites surveyed for this briefing now have a clear description of the maximum capital threshold. Several offer some sort of interactive self-assessment ranging from use of SurveyMonkey to one that populates the back-office data directly. We set these out as case studies in this briefing and start with an overview of the various issues to be considered when embarking on such a project.
What are these issues and where do councils see benefits to service users and efficiency from online financial self-assessment?