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Avoiding Care Fees: Challenging a Local Authority decision

Challenging a decision that was ‘so unreasonable or irrational that no reasonable person acting reasonably could have made it’ (known as ‘Wednesbury unreasonable’ – Associated Provincial Picture Houses Ltd v Wednesbury Corporation [1948] 1 KB233). 

Each Local Authority must have a complaints procedure and if unable to get a satisfactory resolve the Local Government Ombudsman may investigate. Contact Us for advice if you are considering challenging a Local Authority or NHS Funding decision

The Local Government Ombudsman is the final stage for complaints about councils, all adult social care providers (including care homes and home care agencies) and some other organisations providing local public services. A free service, they investigate complaints in a fair and independent way and make recommendations for a resolution.

T: 0300 061 0614

W: www.lgo.org.uk/adult-social-care

PO Box 4771, Coventry, CV4 0EH 

LGO – Charging/Deliberate Deprivation Decisions

West Berkshire Council (18 008 120)

Summary: Mr X gifted his property to his Two Daughters having moved into moved an Extra Care flat. The family maintained that the intention was to transfer ownership of the property earlier but no evidence was provided.

The LGO found no fault with the Council deciding a Father had transferred his home to his Daughters with a deliberate intent to avoid paying for care.   

East Sussex County Council (18 000 465)

Summary: Mrs X received care and support for 9 years, she moved into Sheltered accommodation, paid off an Equity Release and gifted the remainder to Mr P. 

The LGO found no evidence that the Council was at fault in the way it considered Mrs X could fund her own care through the capital left from the sale of her home.

Dorset County Council (17 016 802)

Summary: Mr X and his adult son complained that the Council has wrongly decided that Mr X gave away £226’000 savings to avoid paying care fees.

The LGO found no fault in how the Council made its decision: it took all the relevant factors into account and followed the law, government guidance and its own policy.

South Gloucestershire Council (17 013 122)

An important decision as The Council said it considered that, because Mr C had been awarded the higher rate of Attendance Allowance, he was aware he would require a package of care

Northamptonshire County Council (17 015 742)

Summary: Mrs A complains that the Council charged the late Mrs X too much for her care home fees as it would not accept the renovation costs incurred in selling Mrs X’s house.

The LGO found no evidence of fault in the way the Council considered the financial assessment for the late Mrs X. The complaint is not upheld.

Leeds City Council (17 015 035)

Summary: Mr C complains the Council wrongly decided she had deprived herself of capital by transferring property to a trust and was therefore liable for her care home fees. 

The Ombudsman found no fault with the Council’s decision-making in this case.

Avoiding paying for care may not be the reason for reducing your assets or making a gift. Expert advice can help you to consider ALL your funding options and provide access to specialist Financial and Legal advisers who are Care Adviser Network members.

Nicola Taylor

Nicola Taylor

Nik is an experienced Care Funding and Benefit adviser, trainer and consultant. Working with Citizen’s Advice began her passion for Welfare Rights which led to her working with local and central Government. She is the author of several books/guides and is dedicated to helping people make informed care choices and care funding decisions.

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