Charging

This section encompasses all issues surrounding charging policies: financial assessments, incorrectly charging someone care costs, incorrectly backdating DPs, how a person’s contribution costs are calculated. 

The LGO is willing to find a Council at fault, when there charging policy lacks clarity. Generally, care charges should be clearly explained to the person and their family/representative. They should also be given notice of upcoming charges in a timely manner, ie not receive an invoice out of the blue.

The LGO reports emphasise that a local authority must regularly reassess a person’s ability to meet the cost of any charges to take account of any changes to their resources. This is likely to be on an annual basis but may vary according to individual circumstances

Name of CouncilSubject MatterTitle of ReportNumber
Milton KeynesFinancial Assessment, Incorrectly ChargingMilton Keynes Council not at fault for requiring payment of an assessed contribution despite care costing less than anticipate20 008 428
DurhamCharging (DRE)Durham Council at fault for failing to offer appropriate remedy after an officer made inappropriate comments20 001 398
Dorset SMIDorset Council at fault for failing to properly consider ‘support for mortgage interest’ (SMI) issues in a financial assessment19 005 009
EssexTop-upsEssex County Council at fault for requiring a deposit payment of 12 weeks of top up fees19 020 100
Kingston Upon ThamesDeprivation of AssetsRoyal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Council at fault for delays in a deprivation of assets investigation19 004 207
City of YorkDeprivation of AssetsCity of York Council at fault for failing to follow guidelines properly when considering deprivation of assets 19 004 193
Wiltshire Deprivation of Assets, Financial AssessmentWiltshire Council at fault for inadequate financial assessment, and concluding that there had been a deliberate deprivation of assets 18 017 678
RotherhamCharging, DelaysRotherham Council at fault for charging for care after a person’s assets had fallen below the threshold19 008 361
WorcestershireIncorrect ChargingWorcestershire County Council not at fault for the information it provided regarding third-party top-up fees, but at fault for failing to complete an annual review of the third-party agreement, and failing to check if the third-party was able to pay the fees19 017 588
North Yorkshire CountyDeprivation of Assets, Financial Assessment, Incorrectly ChargingNorth Yorkshire County Council at fault for failing to fund care home fees in a case of alleged notional capital, where the attorney had gifted money to herself unbeknownst to the resident 18 004 915
Lincolnshire CountyDeprivation of AssetsLincolnshire County Council not at fault for finding a deliberate deprivation of assets 18 013 220
Cheshire and West ChesterDirect Payments, Recovering MoneyCheshire West and Chester Council found not at fault for recovering direct payments, but found at fault in delivering care not in line with the care plan 18 005 390
Kent CountyDirect Payments, Financial AssessmentKent County Council at fault for incorrectly backdating payments 18 002 469
Dorset CountyDirect Payments, Financial AssessmentDorset County Council at fault for unreasonable delays in funding Direct Payments 18 012 800
Hampshire CountyDirect Payments, Incorrectly ChargingHampshire County Council at fault for failing to backdate direct payment to match increase in cost of care 18 007 332
SomersetDirect Payments, Financial AssessmentSomerset Council at fault for facilitating accrual of charging debts and for stating it ‘could not’ provide care until settlement of that debt 18 016 382
CornwallDirect Payments Cornwall Council at fault for delays in approving direct payments 18 018 350
HaveringDirect Payments, Financial Assessment London Borough of Havering Council fails to ensure a sufficient personal budget to cover care and support needs, and offers an arbitrary ‘standard’ amount 18 018 467
BirminghamIncorrectly ChargingPeterborough City Council at fault for failing to give adequate notice and explanation of care charges19 004 245
East SussexIncorrectly ChargingEast Sussex County Council at fault for delays in responding to a section 42 safeguarding concern and for the way it communicated about the client’s charges19 000 641
WandsworthIncorrectly ChargingLondon Borough of Wandsworth at fault in charging for care outside of care plan, and delay in invoicing estate18 018 409
NorfolkIncorrectly ChargingNorfolk County Council at fault for failing to give full and proper information regarding the cost of care and for not checking the care provider’s invoices19 009 101
WarwickshireFinancial AssessmentWarwickshire Council at fault regarding mental capacity assessments and failure to provide an advocate18 017 301
Tower HamletsFinancial AssessmentLondon Borough of Tower Hamlets at fault for failing adequately to consider appeals relating to disability related expenditure19 008 359
Bracknell ForestFinancial AssessmentBracknell Forest Council at fault for improper assessments and for failing to inform family of its social care rights18 013 073
North YorkshireFinancial AssessmentNorth Yorkshire County Council at fault for incorrect financial assessment18 018 542
ThurrockFinancial AssessmentThurrock Council at fault for failing to include DRE in financial assessments18 019 831
Essex CountyFinancial AssessmentEssex County Council and Clinical Commissioning Group at fault for the way they assessed care needs and entitlement to Continuing Healthcare funding, Ombudsman finds17 015 113
Lancashire CountyFinancial AssessmentLancashire County Council found at fault over its assessment process, provision of information, recovery of direct payments and refusing to accept the necessity for a close relative to be paid to provide support18 012 204
SeftonFinancial AssessmentSefton Council not at fault in failing to carry out a financial assessment and charging the full cost of care19 002 633
SomersetFinancial AssessmentSomerset Council at fault for excessive delay, inadequate assessments, poor policy management and failure to address an increase in needs, properly16 016 775
West Sussex CountyFinancial AssessmentWest Sussex Council at fault for inadequate reassessments, poor record keeping, and incorrect back payments18 014 895
BromleyFinancial AssessmentLondon Borough of Bromley Council at fault for delay in financial assessment appeals process19 002 909
RedbridgeFinancial Assessment, Direct PaymentLondon Borough of Redbridge Council at fault for incorrectly charging a carer the full amount of his support costs, after wrongly requesting financial assessment 18 015 695
CambridgeshireFNCCambridgeshire Council at fault for not recognising legitimate disability related expenses18 019 337
Leeds CityRecovering MoneyLeeds Council at fault for its approach to cultural norms and quality of care provided through its commissioning 18 016 024
Countrywide Care HomeFNCCountrywide Care Home at fault for lack of clarity with regard to Funded Nursing Care policy19 004 419
LincolnshireRecovering MoneyLincolnshire County Council at fault for the way it pursued outstanding care payments19 001 789
PeterboroughRecovering MoneyPeterborough City Council at fault for failing to give adequate notice and explanation of care charges19 005 512
NorfolkDirect Payments, Incorrectly ChargingNorfolk County Council at fault for failing to produce a clear care plan and incorrect advice on direct payments and Disability Related Expenditure18 012 426
SheffieldFinancial Assessment, Incorrectly ChargingSheffield City Council at fault for failing properly to assess for home care charges19 000 758
OldhamFinancial Assessment, Incorrectly ChargingOldham Metropolitan Borough Council at fault for incorrectly charging for services 18 017 415
Wirral Financial Assessment, Incorrectly ChargingWirral Metropolitan Borough Council at fault for its charging policy and for backdating 2 years of charges without a proper financial assessment 19 000 024
Cheshire West & ChesterFinancial Assessment, Incorrectly ChargingCheshire West and Cheshire Council at fault for stopping direct payments without explanation and applying an arbitrary DRE disregard18 010 441
SuttonFinancial AssessmentLondon Borough of Sutton found not at fault in carrying out a care and financial assessment 18 019 872
Nottinghamshire CountyFinancial Assessment, Incorrectly ChargingNottinghamshire County Council at fault for unexpectedly increasing a person’s assessed contribution 18 016 318
Nottinghamshire CountyIncorrectly ChargingNottinghamshire at fault, for reducing a man’s care package because of financial pressures and leaving parents to pay 18 015 558
SheffieldIncorrectly ChargingSheffield City Council at fault for wrongly charging top-up fees and having an arbitrary ceiling to personal budgets19 009 239
West SussexFinancial Assessment, Incorrectly ChargingWest Sussex Council at fault for inadequate reassessments, poor record keeping, and incorrect back payments 18 014 895
Stoke-on-Trent CityIncorrectly ChargingStoke-On-Trent City Council at fault for failing properly to advise on cost of care 18 017 623
London Borough of BromleyIncorrectly ChargingLondon Borough of Bromley at fault for failing to advise a family of administrative costs, and providing poor quality service20 006 260
London Borough of CroydonChargingLondon Borough of Croydon at fault for delays and mistakes in a financial assessment and failure to follow guidance, resulting in ongoing confusion and uncertainty regarding payments to a care home20 003 722
Walsall CouncilChargingWalsall Council at fault for failing to adequately explain care contribution costs and sending invoices to the wrong address19 013 986
DorsetFinancial AssessmentDorset Council at fault for poor thinking before asserting a deliberate deprivation of assets to avoid care charges, and delays in communicating its decision19 010 228
Isle of WightFinancial AssessmentIsle of Wight Council at fault for failing to intervene when a person’s condition worsened, and for failing to keep proper care records20 009 512
Durham CountyIncorrectly ChargingDurham County Council at fault for incorrectly charging, when a care home placement ended20 000 872
Cumbria CountyFinancial AssessmentCumbria County Council at fault for failing to explain care charges upon hospital discharge (before Covid)19 015 219
BromleyIncorrectly ChargingLondon Borough of Bromley at fault for failing to provide relevant information to facilitate an informed decision surrounding residential care19 010 475
EnfieldIncorrectly ChargingEnfield not at fault for charging the full cost of care after a person delayed returning a financial assessment form20 007 726
KentFinancial AssessmentKent County Council at fault for poor communication regarding the process of self-funding19 012 666
EnfieldNeeds Assessments, DelaysEnfield at fault for an unreasonable delay in carrying out a needs assessment, resulting in an incorrect backdating of funding20 008 889
LincolnshireNeeds Assessments, DelaysLincolnshire’s approach to assessing property portfolio in financial assessment not found to be at fault but its delays and communication were seen as such22 002 189
KentFinancial AssessmentNo fault found with Kent County Council’s view that the value of ‘gifted’ property should be included in financial assessment22 000 349
York, Medway, NottinghamshireIncorrectly ChargingCouncils called out for wrongly requiring ‘top up’ fees towards care home charges – having not provided a ‘genuine choice’ of care home (York, Medway Council and Nottinghamshire County Councils, by way of example)22 001 187, 22 001 113, 12 014 715
North SomersetFinancial AssessmentNorth Somerset was not criticised for refusing to fund more than the cost of an available care home after the client’s welfare attorney rejected the offer. But the council paid 30 weeks’ home care over before finishing a financial assessment concluding she was a full cost payer, such that repayment in full, was expected. 21 018 856
Kent Financial AssessmentKent County Council at fault for a dubious light touch assessment and for not considering the impact of cognitive impairment on financial assessment22 005 271
CroydonIncorrectly ChargingLondon Borough of Croydon found at fault for the delays in both accepting DRE and in reviewing its charging policy in relation to the Norfolk case21 001 174
YorkFinancial AssessmentYork Council at fault for delays in reviewing a care package after Covid-19, poor record keeping about transport provision, and failing to offer a carer’s assessment22 000 366
DudleyIncorrectly Charging, Financial AssessmentDudley Metropolitan Borough Council at fault for failing to provide a genuine choice of accommodation within a personal budget, despite being found at fault for similar issues, previously20 003 362
WarwickshireFinancial AssessmentWarwickshire County Council unjustly fails to provide reasoning for ‘disregard decision’21 007 248
WarringtonIncorrectly Charging, Financial AssessmentWarrington Council at fault for the lack of clarity regarding considerations for a personal expenditure allowance, failing properly to calculate a contribution and failing to deal with faults through its complaint procedure20 000 864
DorsetNot at faultDorset Council found not at fault for upholding a charge after receiving inadequate information about an increase in income 20 013 611
TraffordFinancial AssessmentTrafford Council at fault for making no attempt to carry out a financial assessment22 001 186
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole CouncilFinancial AssessmentBournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council fails to conduct a financial assessment of a joint account21 012 463
North YorkshireIncorrectly ChargingNorth Yorkshire County Council at fault for changing its approach to household costs contributions, without an explanation21 015 815
EssexIncorrectly ChargingEssex County Council at fault for failing to use its discretion when considering Court-appointed Deputy costs as part of Disability-related expenditure (DRE)19 008 474
WokinghamNot at faultWokingham not at fault after properly considering the valuation of a house and charging the full cost of care thereafter22 012 059
WiltshireFinancial AssessmentWiltshire Council found not at fault over its approach to financial assessment regarding the service user’s debts21 016 067
SuffolkFinancial AssessmentSuffolk County Council failed to provide adequate care based on an assessment, or to communicate its reasoning for decisions, or to support a carer adequately21 002 572
CumbriaIncorrectly ChargingCumbria not at fault following ‘Norfolk case’ challenge to its charges for care and support22 009 174
BlackpoolIncorrectly ChargingBlackpool at fault for overcharging, ordered to amend its charging policy and contact around 2,000 people potentially affected22 007 337
WalthamFinancial AssessmentWaltham Forest found at fault for not following direct payment process and miscalculation of multiple financial assessments21 017 787
GloucestershireIncorrectly ChargingGloucestershire County Council at fault for failing properly to consider and assess a person’s mental capacity, and properly to explain care contribution charges20 009 479
West SussexFinancial AssessmentWest Sussex County Council at fault for failing to consider new evidence as part of an appeal for a disability related expenditure disregard22 011 273