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Personal Budget/Direct payment being clawed back by council - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Personal Budget/Direct payment being clawed back by council

All about money
Penny wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:25 pm
Michael Carers UK wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:17 am
Hello Penny.

Thanks for posting about this issue in the Forum. I have forwarded your post to colleagues in our helpline and policy teams and should be able to give you further guidance on this early next week.

With good wishes

Thank you Michael
Hi Penny,
Hope you are well.

As promised, please find a response from our helpline adviser regarding your situation. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our helpline on 0800 808 7777 or advice@carersuk.org

Wishing you all the best,


Dear Penny,

Thanks for your message about your daughter's direct payments.

Local authorities can usually take back a certain amount of direct payments that is not used in the account. However, taking back £4,000 is quite excessive especially during Covid-19 where you were not able to spend the money for services.

We advise that you ask for two polices the local authority may have, one of them being their policy on direct payments as this will state how much they can claw back if payments are not used. The second being their policy on their response to Covid-19. Hopefully there is a section in there about direct payments as there have been a few changes to direct payments during the outbreak.

When they do ask for money back the money does go back to the finance team and back into their main account.

If they do continue to ask for this money back, you can challenge their decision by making a formal complaint. Your complaint should highlight the point that you were never informed that they could claw back money that has not been used, and secondly, during Covid-19 it has understandably been difficult to use the money as all services had shut down. You can explain it is your intention to use this money when restrictions start to ease again.

Lastly, councils should take into account a person's fluctuating needs. For example, someone may have more needs one month than the other because of how their condition affects them. If this applies to your daughter then please do explain this in your complaint.

If you do have any further questions please do let us know.

Best wishes,
Carers UK
Thanks for that Michael. I will try and get them on the phone today.

They don’t ask for the money, they just take it!
I had trouble getting through on the phone so have emailed the dept who forwarded the Statement. The exact figure they took back was £4700 in June! I have asked for copies of the 2 policies you told me about.

I am puzzled how they could just take it. The direct payment is usually in the recipients bank account. Unless of course it is a managed account.
Finally got a reply.

“The batch load reversal is a reclaim of £4,700 calculated as a build up of excess funds held within the Direct Payment account. It is public money which the council has to account for. If the DP account holds a build up of excess funds this will be reclaimed. In accordance with the terms and conditions any excess funds reclaimed back to the council Must ensure there are enough funds in the account to meet ongoing care costs.

We are aware that some of our clients have been unable to use their DP during the Covid period. Rather than stop the DP funding our clients were unable to use, the council continued to pay the DP into their accounts so as not to interrupt the DP schedule.

£9,142.49 balance in DP account at 16/6/20
Less £4,377.20 amount required to meet care and support costs (equivalent to 20 weeks payment into the DP account at £218.86 per week.
£4,765.29 Reclaim amount. Then rounded down to nearest £100.”

Does that make sense to anybody?

The £9,000 figure is what is in the account at the moment

Then they've worked out how much direct payments should have been spent in 20 weeks.

So they are taking back the £4,000+ amount.

In other words, there was about £4,000 unspent. Is this about right? Was there £4,000 unspent at the beginning of the year.

Whoever wrote the letter/email needs shooting, or rather, has an "urgent need for further training" so that they know how to present accounts in a proper form, i.e. in a column of numbers with the decimal point always in the same place, with writing explaining each figure.

Hampshire CC are so useless They can't do this either, and when I've complained, apparently they don't know what I'm talking about. None of those I've been involved with understand contract law, and when I've applied it properly in my dealings with providers, they've complained about my management of M's DP's, which is why I resigned from managing them.
I managed the accounts for a hospital in Western Australia, turning it round from worst peforming to best performing in under 3 years, have run a small business for 20 years, and have an Honours degree in Business Studies, yet still they don't give me the respect I deserve when it comes to Business matters.
Penny wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:11 pm
Finally got a reply.

£9,142.49 balance in DP account at 16/6/20
Less £4,377.20 amount required to meet care and support costs (equivalent to 20 weeks payment into the DP account at £218.86 per week.
£4,765.29 Reclaim amount. Then rounded down to nearest £100.”

Does that make sense to anybody?
They are saying that the account stood at £9142.49.

They've calculated care costs at £4377.20 for 20 weeks, leaving a balance of £4765.29.

They have reclaimed the £4765.29 (rounded down to £4700) as it's not been used.

There should now be a balance of £4442.49 in the account
Penny wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:47 pm
Melly1 wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 12:04 am
Penny wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:42 pm
I would like to know where the money they claw back actually goes.
Back into the council coffers ....

For what though Melly? I think if that money is allocated to an individual as a PB then it should stay with them. They might need it in future.
I was horrified to find that three times the Council has clawed back monies without prior warning. They say that legalling they only need keep the equivalent to two months worth of DP in the account. Anything not used is the Councils and returns to them, apparently. What gets me is despite it being DP, supposedly to use on what we feel it should, Purple blocks any invoices placed until the Social worker Okays them. My son had no care for a year because the Council failed to find a qualified PA out who could do the job, so they clawed back the whole years DP because they wouldn't let us use it. It's all smoke and mirrors and its so frustrating to get a handle on it. It feels criminal to me.
Trish, that is slightly different. If no one else was available to care, and you felt forced to care, then really YOU should be paid for the care you provide. This is the same sort of situation that I've been in. Covid19 instructions to LA's was clear, that they should be creative and flexible, or words to that effect, so that people got the care they needed.