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Paying for Care

Part 4 – CRAG

The rules that govern what people have to pay for their care in respect of Local Authority funding is governed by a number of different legislative provisions, some case law and the Charging for Residential Accommodation Guidelines (otherwise known as “The CRAG”).

The CRAG is about an inch and a half thick and is updated every 6 months, although usually nothing much changes in the updates.  If you ever cannot sleep at night, get out The CRAG and give it a go, you will be pushing out the zeds in no time!!!

As you would expect with guidance to the charging regime this big, it is that size for a reason, because the rules are complicated.  In the first 3 blogs I have tried to go over some common issues and to give a brief overview, which I hope has helped.   However the rules are complicated for a reason and sometime people don’t fit the simple model that I have described in blog 3.  The rules are complicated, because people can be complicated and can have complicated financial affairs and complicated family affairs, so the key answer would be, if in doubt, seek advice.

When I’ve spoken to Social Workers about finance, they do have a basic understanding, but they usually don’t have the detailed knowledge that a Finance Officer would have.  The issue with a Finance Officer is that they work for the organisation that is seeking money from the individual, so cannot give impartial advice or even worse/better (whichever way you look at it) be on the side of the individual or their family.

There is case law on this subject, which means that the two sides in this situation didn’t agree and asked the Court to arbitrate their disagreement.  So if a Finance Officer were to tell you, that something is the right answer, it might be, or it might be that that’s what they want the right answer to be.

We are all in a period of austerity and Government bodies are short of money (as many people are).  We probably all understand that and understand that the Government need to save money where they can or raise extra money where they can.  This can lead to overly restrictive decisions or just straightforward unfair decisions.

So once again, the key message to this, if your situation is much more complicated than what I have described in the earlier blogs and especially if something does “feel right to you”, then seek advice on the matter for the specifics of your situation.