Mrs B complains, on behalf of her parents-in-law, Mr and Mrs C, that the Council failed to properly consider the law and guidance in deciding Mr and Mrs C deliberately deprived themselves of capital to avoid care charges for Mr C.
The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.
To remedy the complaint we recommend the Council:
- apologises to Mr and Mrs C for its failure to properly consider and evidence why it considered they gifted money with the intention of avoiding care charges;
- pays Mrs C £250 to recognise the distress caused to her;
- reviews its decision that Mr and Mrs C deprived themselves of capital to avoid care charges, after first giving Mrs C the opportunity to provide further evidence to support their case;
- provides Mrs C (and us) with a properly reasoned decision showing what evidence it has considered and the weight given to the evidence, in accordance with the requirements of the statutory guidance;
- reviews its current procedures and guidance for staff on how to deal with cases where deprivation of capital may have occurred; and
- ensures its procedures are improved to ensure financial assessments are carried out at the correct time.
Ombudsman satisfied with Council's response: 3 September 2019.