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Local authorities have a legal responsibility to make sure your needs are met. This responsibility is the same whether they arrange services for you or you arrange them yourself using direct payments.
The local authority must give you enough information to help you sort out your care now that this responsibility is yours. And the amount of money must be enough to cover the extra things involved when making the arrangements yourself. This will include covering things that may go wrong or only happen occasionally.
By law, the local authority must give you a care plan, whether your support is provided in the form of services they arrange or direct payments. For information about what should be in your care plan, see “They’ve reassessed my needs and the local authority isn't offering enough help.”
If you are getting direct payments, then your care plan must also include a clear explanation of:
You can complain:
Think about the following points when deciding whether you have been offered enough money and support to meet your needs:
The main point is that your personal budget must be enough to pay for the help you need. If not, the local authority has effectively cut your care package without reassessing you. This is not allowed and you can make a complaint to your local authority.
Your local authority has a legal duty to assess your financial situation before increasing the charges that you pay for your care and support. Has this assessment happened? If it has not, you can explain this. If you have had this assessment, make sure it has taken into all your extra expenses related to your condition or impairment (sometimes called ‘disability-related expenditure’). If not, you can ask for a new assessment or for the local authority to take your list of extra expenses into account.
Working out your extra expenses can be quite complicated. Get help from an adviser if you can. If you can’t speak to an adviser, you can do it yourself.
Remember to include:
Ask friends or family to check you haven’t forgotten anything. Find as much evidence as possible for these expenses. For example, receipts, bills or bank statements. Your local authority may ask to see this evidence.
Also check that your income and proposed charges have been calculated correctly. An adviser can help you do this.
If this doesn’t get the result you want, you can complain to the Ombudsman or get legal advice - see what options do I have now?
This guide was updated for Scope by Advicenow in March 2015. It applies to England only.
It is not meant as a substitute for legal advice.
Find out why @Scope’s telling people to H.I.D.E in this year's #EndTheAwkward campaign: http://bit.ly/2cQH5UT