A High Court ruling has clarified that councils cannot take personal injury awards into account when carrying out financial assessments for social care packages, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has said.
In July 2015, Wokingham BC assessed a woman who received a personal injury payment in 1998 for medical negligence as needing a care package totalling £3,910 per month.
However, the council did not start making the payments until October, arguing the woman’s personal injury payment should have been sufficient to cover her care costs.
In February last year, the ombudsman said the council should not have taken the personal injury award into account.
This decision was challenged by Wokingham at the High Court but the council’s case was found to be “totally without merit”.
Local government and social care ombudsman Michael King said: “Councils can be clear about the way we will look at any similar cases that come to my office in future.”
“I now urge Wokingham council to consider the report as a matter of urgency and pay the woman the money she is entitled to.”