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Where has all the discretion gone?

We are seeing a worrying increase in the number of cases coming to us about financial assessments for care.

There are two main problems:
1. Items not counted as Disability Related Expenditure
2. Contributions to care not being affordable

Both of these areas are notable in that guidance and regulations give local authorities discretion – discretion to consider what counts as a disability related expense, and discretion to waive some (or all) of the costs of care, if the assessed contribution is unaffordable.

Recent cases have shown an overwhelming reluctance by local authorities to use this discretion with the preference being to stick to rigidly applying the letter of the statutory guidance. Comments we have received have suggested that as far as some local authorities are concerned, this is all correct and proper. However, not considering and applying discretion when appropriate, is still a failing – what’s the point of being given the power to apply discretion if you then don’t use it?

If you have any concerns about the issues raised in this article, speak to a member of our team today for a free initial telephone consultation: 01926 354704 or email: 

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