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Martin Searle Solicitors

Community Care Law Advice For Deputies & Attorneys

Martin Searle Solicitors Community Care Law Services For Professional Deputy And Attorney

On 1 April 2015, the Care Act 2014 overhauled the social care system and changed almost every aspect relevant to the provision of care and support to older people and those with disabilities.

Although many of the new provisions are welcome, Social Services lacks resources to meet the inevitable increase in demand. As a result, Professional Deputies and Attorneys and Private Client lawyers will need to develop their knowledge about the interface between public law and private law. This includes how and when to challenge decisions made by Social Services; and the funding reforms that may become effective from April 2020 (delayed from 2016). Understanding the national minimum eligibility criteria for social care and support is vital, as is knowing how to ensure eligible individuals receive all the services they are entitled to, and that they don’t pay for any of those services unnecessarily.

Care Act 2014 – enforcing individuals’ rights and challenging Local Authority decisions

As one of a very small handful of community care law specialist firms who assist  Private Client teams, we can assist Professional Deputies and Attorneys on an ad hoc or case by case basis with complex issues such as:

  • Challenging Local Authority assessments of an individual’s eligible needs. This is relevant to the rate at which they will qualify for Social Services funding under the Care Act 2014 capital cap – when they have self-funded for ‘long enough’
  • Understanding the care cap and how your clients can qualify sooner; First & Third Party Top Ups and Choice of Accommodation; the new Deferred Payment Agreement regime
  • Accessing all potential sources of health and social care funding to conserve an individual’s assets and income (NHS Continuing Healthcare; Fast Track Pathway funding; Social Services funding; section 117 Mental Health Act funding; state Benefits). Preparing the Deputy for or representing your clients at NHS Funding Panels
  • Managing allegations or potential allegations of deprivation of capital or income made by the Local Authority or OPG
  • Protecting clients who are facing financial or health and welfare safeguarding situations (including about where they live and are cared for; contact with family and friends; financial exploitation by family members or others). Preparing you for or representing your client at Best Interest meetings and in Court of Protection litigation
  • How to ensure that those of your clients’ family members who are carers can enforce their new rights under the Care Act 2014 and whether / how services to carers can be charged for
  • Community Care Law File Review of client matters – making sure the Deputy feels confident that all avenues have been explored, reducing risk of later action or complaint by beneficiaries and charity-beneficiaries

We also provide employment law services for Deputies and Attorneys who are arranging ‘care at home’ packages for their clients, either by employing carers directly or by using an agency.

If you are a Professional Deputy or Attorney and require advice and assistance on any community care law matter, we can help.

From our offices in Brighton & Hove, Croydon, Gatwick & CrawleyEastbourne and Shoreham, we serve clients from across the country and overseas, through their preferred means of communication.

Contact us today on 01273 609911, or email info@ms-solicitors.co.uk to find out more.

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