Council's responsibilities and penalties against them

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
We cared for my sister for more than 20 years until at the end of October 2012 (having had a short stay in hospital) she went to a care home. Initially this was considered temporary, the purpose of sending her to a home was to get her mobilised so she could come home to us. Neither I (I held enduring power of attorney) nor my sister received any information about charges for the home from the council. Unfortunately she died in March 2013. After she died the council finally got around to doing a financial assessment and issued and invoice for approximately £7000 (my sister had no assets to speak of but a good pension). I refused to pay this because a large amount of her remaining funds had been used for her funeral and they had completely ignored the CRAG. Since then the council has become abusive and now it is going to court. This has been a very stressful for me and was for my sister when she was alive.

If a council completely ignores the CRAG requirements do they face any penalties or can they get away with this? If a person dies surely they have to do another financial assessment to take into account the funeral costs?
Thanks
Charles
Hi Charles,
The CRAG document most certainly states that the council should have informed your sister/yourself of any costs and in writing. There is some argy bargy about temporary turning into permanent but there seems to be quite an extended time for 'temporary'. There is also a mention of 8 weeks but your sister was in care for more than 8 weeks. The council presumably are claiming against your sister's estate.
You could copy your post to the help line here on an e-mail. I would also weigh up whether legal representation would benefit you in case the council wins the remainder of your sister's estate or can claim back the amount paid for the funeral as well. Which would cost the most?
The council appear to have neglected their responsibilities to set out costs in writing, but that temporary/permanent thing might have some bearing. The whole document is fairly clear but so long winded that it takes some concentrating to pick out the relevant paragraphs. There's all the stuff about who should pay what towards care too.
Good luck
Elaine
Make a formal complaint to the council. Mention that on receipt of their response, you will go to the Ombudsman. Franklu, they are trying it on. Clearly they did not follow the procedures laid down. In similar circumstances, I made the council refund £8,000.