Most prevalent issues surrounding direct payments involve; setting arbitrary limits, delaying/incorrectly backdating payments, or delaying the approval of DPs.
In terms of assessing a person’s eligibility for a Direct Payment and applying for one, there are no set guidelines for how long this should take. The LGO consider it reasonable to expect services to complete
a non-urgent application in 12 weeks.
As long as there are sufficient records and evidence, the LGO will go through exact care costs and time scales, and work out exactly how much of your DPs should be backdated and paid to you if the Council failed to do so correctly in the first place. Some of the reports have highlighted that, because the LGO is not a court of law, it can be more generous in order to put people back in the position they should have been in. So, an unreasonable delay, resulting in a person losing out on additional support, can be compensated for by way of an LGO recommendation.
The LGO reports emphasise that a Council cannot withdraw your DPs without review.
Name of Council Title of Report Number Sheffield Sheffield City Council at fault for multiple errors in a care assessment and incorrectly commissioning care with a provider previously complained about 19 019 521 Worcestershire Worcestershire County Council at fault for failing to properly explain the charging and net direct payment process, failing to monitor a direct payment account, and failing to engage consistently with a person’s financial representative 19 019 886 Kent Kent County Council at fault for incorrectly backdating payments 18 002 469 Buckinghamshire County Council Buckinghamshire County Council at fault for deciding to stop Direct Payments without a formal review, without giving notice and without ensuring established needs would still be met on transfer to Continuing Health Care 17 016 036 Cheshire West & Chester Cheshire West and Cheshire Council at fault for stopping direct payments without explanation and applying an arbitrary DRE disregard 18 010 441 London Borough of Bromley London Borough of Bromley at fault for setting an arbitrary limit on a personal budget and failing to show how assessed needs could be met within the final sum offered 10 007 855 Calderdale Calderdale Council at fault for poor communication, failing to involve a person in decisions surrounding their care, wrongly stopping direct payments and severe delays in carrying out an assessment 19 004 821 Cornwall County Council Cornwall County Council at fault for forcing a carer to carry on meeting needs by stopping direct payments and leaving any alternative source of care undelivered 19 004 581 Staffordshire Staffordshire County Council at fault for stopping respite care funding, and not sufficiently involving the person and their family in assessments and reviews 19 003 615 Cheshire West and Chester Cheshire 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 Dorset Dorset County Council at fault for unreasonable delays in funding Direct Payments 18 012 800 Hampshire Hampshire County Council at fault for failing to backdate direct payment to match increase in cost of care 18 007 332 Kirklees Kirklees Council at fault for removing respite care and setting arbitrary limit to funding 19 008 980 Kirklees Kirklees Council at fault for the poor quality of care and record keeping evident at an agency it commissioned (Locala HomeCare Limited) 18 002 031 Leicestershire Leicestershire Council at fault for failing to arrange home care within a reasonable timescale, and failing to provide information about direct payments 18 017 173 Somerset Somerset 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 Cornwall Cornwall Council at fault for delays in approving direct payments 18 018 350 Havering 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 Redbridge London 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 Norfolk Norfolk County Council at fault for failing to produce a clear care plan and incorrect advice on direct payments and Disability Related Expenditure 18 012 426 Merton Merton found at fault for not reviewing a care plan, not justifying its rationale for offering less than was regarded as needed, and not monitoring direct payments 21 010 255 North Yorkshire North Yorkshire County Council at fault for delays in completing a carer’s assessment, and non-provision of agreed respite funding 20 002 410 Suffolk Suffolk at fault for a long review process and assessments that weren’t joined UP 21 016 450 Wirral Wirral Council at fault for failing to complete a timely assessment of care needs, when a person arrived from another council’s area, resulting in a direct loss and breach of the Continuity provisions in ss37-38 of the Care Act 22 005 781 Croydon Croydon Council at fault for appearing to place financial considerations before wellbeing 22 000 071 Rutland Rutland County Council failed to properly consider personal budget needs. 22 000 033 Staffordshire Staffordshire County Council found to be at fault for failing to take a flexible approach on direct payments being paid to family members in the same household, during the COVID-19 pandemic 20 005 645 East Sussex East Sussex County Council found at fault for not following COVID Guidance and not acting flexibly during the pandemic causing a delay with setting up a direct payment to make up for non-provision 21 015 871 Kingston Kingston Upon Hull found at fault for failing to review direct payments, leading to a care contribution debt 22 002 632 Westminster Westminster City Council not at fault for changing its practice of not asking for DRE receipts 21 009 408 Croydon London Borough of Croydon at fault for failing to conduct a re-assessment, provide appropriate support, provide or keep accurate documentation or appropriately to handle a complaint 22 001 091 City of York City of York at fault for contributing to carer strain, failing to consider direct payments and safeguarding failures 22 005 428 Hampshire Hampshire County Council found at fault and having caused injustice, leading to restitution for leaving the direct payment short of the PA’s remuneration 22 001 239 Staffordshire Staffordshire at fault for delayed assessment after a move to the area, failing to conduct a carer’s assessment, provide agreed services and support with managing a DP 22 002 399 Essex Essex County Council fail to follow statutory guidance in assessing and setting up care and support 22 010 085 Lancashire Lancashire County Council at fault for failing to secure the planned respite care and over communications about potential supported living settings 22 010 039 Staffordshire Staffordshire County Council fail properly to advise direct payment recipients of their rights 22 005 255 Lancashire Lancashire County Council delay care and financial assessments for over four months, causing financial loss and avoidable distress 22 013 521 Waltham Waltham Forest found at fault for not following direct payment process and miscalculation of multiple financial assessments 21 017 787