Thousands of disabled people who need personal care are set to be disappointed when “Frank’s Law” comes into effect on Monday, campaigners have warned.

The Scottish Government is abolishing care charges for people aged under 65 who suffer from debilitating conditions, to bring them into line with older people who already receive free personal care.

But while ministers said 9000 people would benefit, a campaign group claims the true figure is a third lower. Meanwhile wealthy people will benefit most because of the way charges are calculated.

Frank’s Law came about as a result of the campaign by Amanda Kopel, wife of former Dundee United player Frank, who died from early onset dementia diagnosed when he was just 59.

When it was announced by former health secretary Shona Robison in 2017, she said it would make at least 9,000 people better off. But a survey of Scottish councils by SACT found only 33 per cent of disabled people under 65 - around 6,000 – will see any benefit from the change. Meanwhile those with savings of over £27,000 will benefit most, the campaign says. This is because those already paying the full cost of their care will pay less when personal care is free, whereas people who pay only what they can afford may find they still have to pay the same sum towards non-personal care. SACT, which is calling for all care to be made free to those who need it, claims this is unfair.

Ian Hood, researcher for SACT said, “The Scottish Government has over promised the benefits of its new policy. The majority of people who have social care needs in Scotland will have no change in their care charges.

“This will be tremendous disappointment to the thousands who have waved Frank’s Law banners at football pitches all over Scotland and they will come to feel taken advantage of by “clever politicians” and their civil servants who have followed the letter of the law but not its spirit.”

Jeff Adamson, SACT Chair added: “Councils have already been paid £30 million to implement the policy. But disabled people are still having to wait for who knows how long for information on how the policy will be applied and how it will affect them.”

Scotland Against the Care Tax (SACT) also claims many councils are still not ready for the change. FOI requests by the campaign showed only 13out of 32 councils could say which clients received both personal care and other forms of social care. Six of the seven councils which took part in an a Government Implementation Advisory Group, were unable to identify how many hours of personal care people in their area receive, and four councils - Glasgow, South Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire unaware even of how many of their home care clients get personal care and how many do not.

The Scottish government feasibility study suggested most people receiving care receive around three hours of non-personal care for every one hour of personal care. But councils responding to SACT said that the split for their clients was much more evenly split.

Ian Hood added: “The policy is based on flawed assumptions and is actually likely to cost less than they have put aside because of this. But that also means far less people will benefit than expected.” Some councils are likely to face legal challenges over the way their care has been assessed, he said.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The extension of free personal care to people under 65 will be fully implemented by 1 April 2019 and goes further than the original calls from campaigners to cover dementia to include all conditions. Councils are currently working to implement the policy to extend FPC to those under 65 and welcome the legislative backing that ‘Frank’s Law’ brings to promoting equality

“The budget includes £30 million this year to cover this extension so that free personal care will be available to everyone who is assessed by their local authority as requiring it, regardless of their age, condition or income.”

While the better off stand to gain most from the changes:

Councils currently assess the care people need and how much it will cost.

They then calculate the actual charge based on what people can afford to pay, with those who have £27,000 or more in savings charged the full amount their care costs.

Now that care will be split with tasks such as mobility, medication, washing and food preparation counted as personal care. Help with this aspect of living becomes free while councils will continue to charge for help such as shopping cleaning or assistance in claiming benefits.

But if the cost of non personal care is high, a less well-off disabled person will continue to be charged whatever they can afford – which may mean they continue to pay the same as before.

That could mean the wealthiest people with savings, who were previously paying the full cost of both personal and non personal care, seeing big savings while the poorest gain nothing.