How can we spend our money in care

The way in which we spend our own money when we are in care can be a source of confusion and a recent decision by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has provided some clarification.

A recent case involving Cornwall Care reminds councils that within reason, people can spend their money as they wish when paying for their own care.

The Ombudsman criticised Cornwall Council’s financial assessment process which treated the person as though the council were paying for the care and they limited the man’s personal expenditure to the Personal Expenditure Allowance. The Ombudsman made clear that this should only apply when the council is paying for the care.


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In 2020/21, local authorities spent £7.8 billion on long-term support for older people, of which £4.8 billion was on nursing or residential care, £2.9 billion on community support, including home care

Each local authority has an amount which they will pay for a given care need. This might be an hourly rate for home care or a weekly fee for residential care. Not all care providers will accept this r