We have been campaigning with you to ask the Treasury to adjust their Self-employed income support scheme (SEISS) scheme, which replaces lost profits for self-employed people losing work during COVID-19, for Shared Lives carers, who can apply to the scheme, but typically aren’t eligible for any replacement income, because the Shared Lives tax break usually shows their profits as zero.
We are extremely disappointed that the SEISS has not been adjusted by the Treasury to address this, despite our very positive engagement with the Dept of Health and Social Care, and the support expressed for the Shared Lives sector by the Minister of Care Helen Whately and cross-party MPs, including the Shadow Health team and Labour party leader Sir Keir Starmer. We have been contacted by MPs of all parties as a result of the campaigning which Shared Lives carers have been doing on this issue locally.
We are currently deciding our next steps and will let you know. In the meantime, it is more important than ever that the remaining third local authorities and schemes consider how to adapt Shared Lives and where possible, to continue to pay Shared Lives carers who usually offer day support, as well as to support long-term Shared Lives carers who currently have additional responsibilities. Please continue to write to your MPs and Directors of Adult Services using our template letters to ask for local support. If you would like us to talk to, or write on your behalf, please let us know. We are encouraged that approaching a third of local authorities have put some kind of financial support for Shared Lives carers in place already, and will continue to press the other areas to do so.
Below is one of the responses from the Treasury to Barbara Keeley MP, who was Shadow Health and Social care Minister at the time of her writing.