Transport to social care services

I came across the following article, which I am puzzled about as when my Mum used to go to a Day Centre she was charged for transport; of what I understand of this article it should not have happened. I have always suspected our local authority of taking the liberty of charging for anything and everything coz they can.

Transport to social care services

Local authorities have a duty to provide support for adults assessed as needing transport for social care activities: the mere fact that they are receiving a mobility component of their DLA / PIP (etc.) does not negate this duty.

“Duty to provide” doesn’t mean that they can’t charge for it, unfortunately. It means that they can’t tell you that you have to use the car to get your caree to the service, but while they have a duty to provide a range of services to meet someone’ needs (including transport) they can charge for it, subject to the regulations.

Charles, surely these then count as “Disability Related Expenditure” which the council then have to make allowances for?

It’s been a source of arguments and a real bone of contention for a long time, but what you’re charged for services is not counted as a Disability Related Expenditure - so nor would transport. And unless it’s successfully challenged in court (Legal Aid almost certainly not available), I don’t really see this changing.

In that case, if it counts as a service, should it be included in the financial assessment?

Generally, those who are getting the transport provided either have Mobility Component of PIP/DLA in payment - which is not part of the financial assessment but can be used for transport costs only - or a Motability car. And that’s where the fun usually starts. We had a number of cases where social services tried to force families to do all the transporting or to hand over the car for day services.

The interesting part to all this is that although there’s nothing to stop them charging, there is no specific mechanism for it. No one has ever taken it through the courts, so local systems apply as it’s a grey area.

I know a family who have/are for years been financially assessed. In order to pay towards the costs to day centre transport. Because one of them are in receipt of the higher rate mobility component of DLA.