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Disabled man loses Cambridgeshire care cost appeal

Category: England

Published: 31st May 2012 11:12:17

The Supreme Court has dismissed a disabled man's appeal against the level of funding of his care package.

Lawyers representing the 26-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the Cambridgeshire County Council made an "irrational" decision when funding its client's care.

The offer of about £85,000 a year was "manifestly insufficient" to meet the man's assessed needs, they claimed.

An independent social worker put the cost of annual support at £157,000.

Lawyers representing man, referred to as KM, who was born without eyes and has a range of serious mental and physical conditions, said the case raised "profound issues" for disabled people dependent on local authority support.

The lawyers claimed Cambridgeshire County Council made an "irrational" decision when funding his care.

But the judges unanimously rejected the challenge.

They said local authority resources were not to be taken into account when establishing the needs of disabled people.

The court also made it clear that when individuals received direct funding for social care it was "crucial" local authorities provide enough detail to decide the correct sum.

Four charities - Sense, National Autistic Society, RNIB and Guide Dogs - sponsored the case.

Their lawyers maintained some councils restricted assessments on the grounds of costs and some did not, which in the past resulted in a postcode lottery for social care.

Yogi Amin, representing the charities, said: "This is potentially the biggest community care ruling in 15 years.

"Although KM's appeal has not been successful, we are pleased that the Supreme Court has now clarified the law with regard to local authorities taking their resources into account when assessing a disabled person's needs.

"Each of the national charities who intervened in this case firmly believes that a person's individual needs are the same regardless of where they live."

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BBC News, 2012. Disabled man loses Cambridgeshire care cost appeal [Online] (Updated 31st May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1431993/Disabled-man-loses-Cambridgeshire-care-cost-appeal [Accessed 2nd Aug 2014]

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