A welcome judgment concerning social care charges
A local authority accepted that a disabled person had eligible needs for support to develop and maintain personal relationships, and provided funding for him to attend a social and life skills group. Part of the group’s programme involved members attending various activities which the authority did not fund – such that the disabled person had to pay for these from his benefits. He then argued that these costs should be considered as Disability Related Expenditure (DRE) and taken into account for the purposes of his social care charge. The local authority (the defendant) decided that these costs could never be considered as DRE. The High Court disagreed in fairly trenchant terms. It did not find that they must always be considered as DRE – but that there were strong grounds for believing that they could be, stating (para 91):
The power in the DRE regulations has as its existential purpose the reasonable and fair assessment of the ways that we as a community can support people living with disability. This is the approach the defendant must take.
A brief note on the judgment (RW v Windsor & Maidenhead  EWHC 1449 (Admin)) can be accessed by clicking here and the full judgment (that appears to contain a few typos) can be accessed by clicking here.
Posted 20 June 2023