What is the correct course of action for a person who has not had an uplift in their budget or package for 10 years and is now being refused one?

If a person had not requested an uplift for 10 years, then no obvious breaches would be implied, because review was only required by the Guidance under the old law, ie before 1st April 2015.  But it would mean that the person had potentially never been assessed through the Care Act criteria and would have been wronged in that regard.  In those circumstances, requesting an urgent review under the Care Act would be the appropriate course of action. 

In circumstances where a person has requested an uplift, but this has been ignored or refused, then the reasons for not actioning that would either be unlawful or lawful. 

An example of an unlawful reason would be a statement that the rate currently being paid never increases – this is unlawful as a fetter of the Council’s discretion – that is, failing to consider, and on an individual basis, exercise its decision-making powers. 

An example of a lawful reason could be a statement that having looked at the person’s circumstances and considering the apparently willing voluntary informal services being delivered by family members, perhaps, or considering universal services available to them and despite recognising  a change in their needs, no further funding would be provided because none is in fact needed.
In circumstances where a person had not had a review of a Care Act assessment done since 2015, hat would be a clear and ongoing breach of the Care Act 2014 duty in s27 which requires that plans are kept under regular review. No specific time frame is set out for reviews, but annually is considered best practice. Reviews may also be requested at any time on any reasonable basis by or on behalf of the person with the package.

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