The 2010 Court of Protection case regarding Mark Reeves made it compulsory for Deputies to maximise a client’s income from benefits and the local authority. This includes applications to a local authority under the National Assistance Act 1948. Deputies should therefore have systems that allows for regular reviews of these entitlements.
For clients who have received a large personal injury award, the starting point must be to review whether the original order prohibiited state funding. The case of Peters v East Midlands SHA in 2009 allowed Health Authorities to deny a Deputy state funding, where that need had already been claimed in a personal injury case.
However, most Deputyship cases do not include such an indemnity and therefore the question is whether the client would qualify for funding. Funding is normally means tested, so those with savings are often excluded. This does not apply to monies received from a personal injury case, or held in particular types of trust.
Funding might include direct provision of care (council staff providing services), or direct payments to the client or deputy (monthly payments to buy the services privately).
If claims have not been made, the recent case of Reeves suggests that a Deputy might be negligent. It is therefore essential that Deputies have a proper system in place to review all types of potential funding.