London Borough of Bexley (23 007 464)

Category : Adult care services > Disabled facilities grants

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 10 Oct 2023

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about a Disabled Facilities Grant. This is because there is not enough evidence of fault to justify an investigation.

The complaint

  1. Mr X complains the Council has refused to fund all the work needed to adapt his home for his child. He says this has left him out of pocket, as he has had to pay the outstanding amount himself. Mr X would like the Council to repay him the amount he has paid.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’, which we call ‘fault’. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint, which we call ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We do not start or continue an investigation if we decide there is not enough evidence of fault to justify investigating (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended, section 34(B)).

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by the complainant and the Council.
  2. I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.

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My assessment

  1. Under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, councils can award a Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG) to people whose disability means their home needs adaptation. Mr X complained the Council had not agreed to cover the full cost of work that was needed to adapt his home for his child.
  2. The maximum amount of a mandatory DFG is £30,000. Councils can decide to give more help if they think it is necessary. In this case, the Council had agreed to fund £30,000 of the mandatory DFG and an additional £25,000 of work using a top up grant. This was in line with their policy on DFGs.
  3. However, this still left around £7,000 outstanding. The Council explained to Mr X that, as this amount exceeded both the DFG and the top up grant, he would need to pay this himself. It explained it could offer him an interest free loan for this amount. This was in line with both its own policy on DFGs and national guidance. Therefore, we will not investigate this complaint as there is not enough evidence of fault to justify an investigation.

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Final decision

  1. We will not investigate Mr X’s complaint because there is not enough evidence of fault to justify an investigation.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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