Care services at home - legal advice

When it appears to a local authority that there may be a need for community care services to be provided to an individual who is resident in its area, that same local authority has legally binding duties to assess what the persons needs are and to make a decision as to whether to arrange these services.

Such services include things like equipment or adaptations to the person’s home to help them get around better or get into or out of the bath/up and down stairs etc. It also includes help and support provided to a person by paid carers or personal assistants to help them cope better and more independently with their disability.

For advice call our care services experts on 0175 321 5096 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you directly.

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Personal care at home

Such “personal care” services at home are usually subject to a charge by the local authority.

The charge will not be the full amount of the care, and is worked out using a means-test. It is important to remember that the council can charge for such services but it does not have to – it is at their discretion. What they should do though is follow government guidance in “fairer charging”. Often they do not. Even more common is that fat that council’s should assess a person’s ability to pay based not on a standard formula alone but should take account of real and actual expenditure and outgoings that a person has (particularly where the person uses their income to purchase items or services directly as a result of their disability).

Such “disability-related expenditure” is often not taken into account and can drastically reduce the charge which an authority can levy. 

Know your rights

Very often if a public authority makes a decision, it is all too easy to accept the decision – to believe “they must know what they are doing”.

Our experience is that in this area of law there are many, many challenges which can be made to decisions made by Public Authorities, or against delay or inaction by them.

Stephensons has been involved in numerous high profile cases involving community care assessments and service decisions.

In addition to the question of the right care for individuals is the question of the funding of that care – either in the persons’ own home or – if appropriate – in a residential or nursing care home.

Many people are facing the nightmare of not knowing how they may be charged for care, what means-test applies, who is responsible for arranging the care, if the care can be provided free by the NHS and whether their home will be used to pay for their care.

Such concerns mean people often defer a decision on care – even when they clearly need help…or they simply ignore the problem.

Stephensons has a great track record of securing services for people, of maximising their income through savings and income disregards, through claiming the correct allowances and benefits and through the proper application of the law relating to owned property etc.

We also have a wills and trusts department which can assist in care planning, powers of attorney etc.

For advice call our care services experts on 0175 321 5096 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you directly.

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As an award-winning top 150 law firm, with over 450 staff based in offices across the country, you're never far from the advice you need.