Reply To: Independent Living in a Care Home


We have been dealing with a case over the last 18 months where a care home has de-registered to change itself into an independent living facility. The property consists of 4 bungalows in the grounds of an regular care home, and each bungalow has 6 bedrooms for people of all ages with brain injury/illness. Our arguments were that this had been done to take advantage of the HB scheme because the County Council wanted to offload the cost of providing accommodation, and that although they had taken themselves off the register, the same amount of care was still being provided by the same people and therefore it was still classed as a care home under the related Acts, etc. The representatives of 3 out of 24 claimants appealed and following the submission of the appeal to HMCTS, they have all now informed us that they wish to withdraw as the landlord (a well known mental health charity) has agree to cover the costs of housing themselves till they can transfer the landlord status over to a housing association who will provide proper supported housing separately to any personal care required.
I would check with the Care Quality Commission to confirm that this particular property on your claim is not registered as a care home still. If she is just visited once a day, how often do they stay? What do they do for her? Are they trying to promote her ability to move on to less intensive support in another property? If she only gets a quick visit does she really need to be in that specific accommodation? I don’t know what rents are like in your area but where we are that figure would be a monthly rent for at least a 2 bed house or bigger, but I would be looking at the actual support provided and what she really needs in the first instance. Could she manage in a housing association bungalow with a personal alarm?

In answer to the last question, yes as a pensioner there is no doubt she can claim LHA rate of HB, but regarding the independent living side of it, should it be exempt/specified?