Policies relating to financial support (FOI)
Policies relating to financial support (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 15 June 2017.
Could you please provide details of the Social Security department's policy with regard to providing financial support to people who fit the following criteria?
- living with their parents
- having a diagnosed mental illness that prevents them from seeking employment (ie bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, panic disorder and so on)
- having not made any Social Security contributions
- not qualifying for one of the higher levels of personal care award
Prior to school leaving age the family of a young person with a significant mental or physical illness or disability may be able to receive financial support through the Child Personal Care Benefit. This is non-contributory benefit that is available independently of household income.
From school leaving age a young person who qualifies for one of the higher levels of the personal care award is entitled to make their own Income Support (tax funded non-contributory benefit) claim, again independently of whether or not their parents are a low income household.
To establish the level of care a test of functional assessment is applied. The test is in Schedule 2 of the Income Support (Jersey) Regulations 2007 and is called the personal care test. The test has statements which apply to physical, sensory and mental function and each statement carries a score. (The test applies to all adults and young people aged 12 years or above, under 12s can also qualify with some restrictions according to age).
The personal care test assesses a person's loss of function using specified activities including the following six which relate specifically to mental health and cognitive function:
- management of personal finance
- maintaining appearance and hygiene
- management of daily routine
- awareness of danger and consequences of behaviour
For each descriptor a set number of points are awarded. A person can score points across multiple activities; the maximum number of points available for any single descriptor in an activity in the mental function area is 20 points.
There are three levels of payment and claimants must have a minimum score of 15 points to qualify for any payment. The scoring bands are:
- Level 1: at least 15 points, but less than 36 points
- Level 2: at least 36 points, but less than 56 points
- Level 3: at least 56 points, where the person is not receiving long-term care
Each level of payment provides a weekly amount of financial assistance towards the cost of care.
For those with less serious conditions financial assistance through the Income Support scheme is available providing that they are a member of a low income household.
Alongside financial assistance, Back to Work (BTW) offers specialist assistance to help people into work where long-term illness or disability represents a more significant barrier to employment. We have dedicated specialists who have specific experience of working with mental health and other conditions and can support the management of such conditions.
BTW officers work closely with colleagues in the health service and the Jersey Employment Trust (JET) to determine the best approach for the individual. The primary role of JET is to assist people with a disability to find and sustain open employment. JET provides a range of employment support services including pre-vocational education courses, training opportunities, work tasters and work experience placements. JET works with anyone who has a disability including a sensory, physical or neurological impairment, learning difficulty, people with long term medical conditions and mental health issues.