Benefit tales

New guidelines will strip 135,000 elderly and disabled people of care provided by councils, charities fear.

Draft rules published by the Department of Health will bring in a “national minimum” level across England at which people will qualify for care such as help with washing and dressing.

But they are likely to exclude many people currently receiving such care, charities warned today.

One accused ministers of ignoring disabled and older people.

The national minimum standard will replace the current system of four bands of need, from “low” to “critical”.

It is intended to end uncertainty about what care is available in different areas and reduce the number of people having to fight for provision, said Norman Lamb, the care minister.

But he confirmed that it would be similar to the current “substantial” banding, the second highest.

Many councils already use this as a cut-off as they face budget restrictions and…

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