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Direct Payments Urgent Help Please


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#1 lennie len

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 11:21 AM

PLEASE HELP ME- applies to adult social care who pay contribution towards care.

I THINK THEY ARE TRYING TO PULL THE WOOL OVER MY EYES. The issue is over complicated by the deceit from the adult disability team.

 

Firstly-

 

Question for those who handle their own, or their child's direct payments.

Case 1) If there are unused funds in the account at the end of the direct payment year (due to hours not used for whatever reason), and you pay back the council's unused contributions- WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR UNUSED CONTRIBUTIONS sitting in the account?

 

Question for those who a council broker handles yours or your child's direct payments.

Case 2) If there are unused funds in the broker's account at the end of the direct payment year, (due to hours not used for whatever reason) and the council reclaims their unused contributions, what happens to your/ your child's contributions, are you refunded these?

 

You do not need to read anymore than this, but if you do, a brief as I can be outline of the situation.

 

I am my daughter's appointee and I am under Case 2 (above).

She is 19 and has received 25 hours support social care, 21 of these hours is in a day centre. The council contribute towards the personal budget, and we contribute a smaller weekly charge (assessed on daughter's income- ESA and PIP care).

My daughter was ill. Did not receive care since 11th December, as too ill to access the day centre. The only way I could stop receiving further invoices for care (not received) until she recovers was to suspend her personal budget.

The direct payment team at first refused to amend the invoice to charge us for care RECEIVED.

They wanted us to pay for all the other weeks she didn't attend because the council had made their contributions.

I did not let this lie, and they backed down the other day and said they would send an amended invoice.

 

Now what I wanted to know from them for the future, as my daughter picks up any bug going and takes a long time to get over it, plus she has an impending hospital procedure on the cards, actually I am going to copy and paste my question (the same question over and over), and their responses, and I would really appreciate your insight on this, because after all these years, just when you thought the LA could not sink any lower than they did throughout the younger years and education, they appear to still do, and I need advice, probably legal (and I will probably confuse a solicitor).

 

Here we go.............................

 

3rd Feb I email SW "Can you inform me what happens to M's contribution towards her personal budget for the period of time she has not been using the service if she does not use the "banked hours"- the council can reclaim their contribution towards the pb from the broker, what happens to M's contribution?

 

13th Feb SW responds (delay in response- she had emergency crisis cases last week- I didn't need to know that) "If she has paid more than the total cost of the services she has used during this time, she would be refunded the difference. However, I have been told that given the difference between what her contribution is and what the council pay towards her personal budget - £XXX.XX, it would be unlikely that there would be any refund.

 

13th Feb- I email Queen of DP "I am asking about what happens to my daughter's expected weekly contribution towards the personal budget for the time she has been unwell-

These are unused funds- where do they go?"

 

She responds  "I can confirm the invoice you have currently is now incorrect and should not be paid.  This is because I am reclaiming all funds back from the council broker"

 

14 th Feb -I thank her for this but repeat the question."What happens to the client's contribution towards the personal budget when the LA reclaims their contribution in the event of "banked hours"/ unused hours not being used at the end of their pb year?"

 

She responds "At the end of M’s current direct payment we will be able to see how much direct payment funding has been spent by you and also work out how much client contribution M has actually paid.  If M has paid more contribution than the cost of her services she will be entitled to a refund."

 

Given the amount the council contribute, it is impossible that M's contribution would be more.

 

I email again for clarification on the 15th "Does this mean if M is unable to receive the services (due to her own absence), her contribution would be refunded back to her at the end of her dp year? Same as the LA would reclaim their contributions from unspent/ banked hours?"

 

She responds "This does mean that if your Daughter has paid more in contributions than what was paid out for her care over the term of the budget then yes your Daughter would receive a refund"

 

This still does not answer the question. Is she is deliberately trying to deceive me? 

 

And so I ask AGAIN "In the event of unused hours at the end of the dp year, when the LA reclaim THEIR unused contributions, will we be refunded with OUR client contributions towards the personal budget for the time she has not received care?"

 

Now is it me?

Am I not being clear enough?

 

This morning, she responds with an attached 19 page Charging Policy For Non Residential Care (which I haven't read yet) and instead of just answering "yes" or "no", I receive another page of waffle with this in the middle "There will only be a refund due if your Daughter has paid more in contributions than we have paid for the cost of care received."

 

So what I am guessing from this is the answer to "will we be refunded with OUR client contributions towards the personal budget for the time she has not received care?" is NO.

 

What is your take on this?

 



#2 imperfect parent

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 01:41 PM

Direct payments are a nightmare that I am not willing to get involved in, much to the disappointment of our LA.  We are currently seeking advice on care packages and I have just had a long conversation with a solicitor recommended by MIND.  I'll PM you with more specific info.



#3 lennie len

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 02:13 PM

How do you come by "care packages" WITHOUT direct payments though?



#4 imperfect parent

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 03:40 PM

A managed account, technically direct payments, but without the service user/ parent as the employer.  that's the theory, but as to the reality who knows.  I'm trying to get a support package which by it's nature will need to be flexible

 

I have a friend who works for 2 families paying out of direct payments, and it is a nightmare knowing hours and getting paid mileage.  As for paid holiday, she is entitled to it, but in 2 years has had none. One is direct payments, the other a managed account, but neither is really managed.

 

When I first looked at direct payments 15 years ago they were offering us £10/week  to provide 4 hours support.  No one understood employers' liability, and I felt that those advising were simply parroting what they were told to say and didn't understand how things work.  Seems little has changed given the answers your SW has given you.

 

Have sent a PM



#5 lennie len

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 07:11 PM

Ours is the same- managed account- managed by a council broker who handles the direct payments.

The council sends broker their contributions towards the dp, and I'm sent an invoice for mine. 

We also pay the carer's mileage charged at 40p a mile.

It's expensive, but works if you use the service, meaning you're receiving care (in our case support for accessing the community- day centre x 3 a week and shops for 4 hours at weekend).

 

Are you required to contribute a weekly charge?

If so, what happens if your child does not use care for a few weeks (for whatever reason)- have you received a refund of your contributions at the end of the budget year?

 

This arrangement is not working for us because my daughter gets ill frequently and so misses weeks and weeks of care.

And they still us charge for it. Edit to add, the day centre does not get paid by the managed accountee (broker) because daughter not there).....so the money, the contributions are held in an account.

 

I have an update- 23 emails later, I finally got an answer to the question

"At the end of the current budget, would we be refunded with our daughter's contributions for care NOT received for the weeks NOT attended?"

 

And at last, a direct answer from the Queen of DP

"In all likelihood, the answer to that question is no.

 The only circumstance in which a refund would be due is if your Daughter has paid more in contributions than the council has paid for care throughout the term of the budget."

 

So that means, in the event my daughter loses 6 weeks of social care because she is unable to access the service from the day centre through illness.

And we are unlikely to use up those 6 weeks worth of funds anywhere else before the budget year is out.

The council will reclaim their unspent contributions for those 6 weeks, but we don't get refunded with our 6 weeks of unused contributions because the council pays more towards her care than we do.

 

This system seems to be designed to profit off people like my daughter when she is unwell and unable to access the service, and so the council seems to think they can reclaim our weekly contributions as well as theirs.

 

I'm sure that's not right, and I hope that the number of the person you sent can advise me, because all of my searching for info has not proved successful.


Edited by lennie len, 17 February 2017 - 07:15 PM.


#6 imperfect parent

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 09:04 PM

Fro what I have heard she is very good, and  I was impressed with her when I spoke to her.  I hope she can help you.  Let us know how it goes.






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