LETTER: Compensation could plug social care funding gap

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Council tax bills are set to increase to help pay for care for elderly and disabled people, according to latest news reports.

A gap in the social care bill could be plugged if disabled people with injuries caused by negligent motorists or employers, for example, were to receive the correct level of compensation to meet their needs. As it stands, taxpayers often pick up the tab.

Large compensation payments for severe injuries are discounted to offset any income which may be made over time through investments. It is supposed to ensure an injured person’s compensation does not exceed the cost of their care, equipment and basic needs.

After all, compensation is not a ‘win’ or a windfall.

The current rate for the discount is far too high, having been last set in 2001 when interest rates were much higher.

Seriously injured people are under-compensated, sometimes by millions of pounds.

Families must stake their compensation on risky investments to try to make up the shortfall, or fall back on the social care system.

The Lord Chancellor has promised that a new discount rate will be announced this month.

The fairest outcome is that insurers must accept their responsibilities and pay what is due from the premiums they have already taken, so the state can be relieved of the responsibility of funding much-needed care.

Neil Sugarman

President, Association of 
Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)