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Mileage expenses on direct payments and problems with social workers putting up barriers

dpb3770dpb3770 Member Posts: 2 Listener
Hello all,
I am a PA for my brother and after years of being dictated to that my brother COULD NOT use his direct payments for multitudinous activities, events etc that would meet his needs, his social worker has done a complete about turn (after being quite aggressively questioned why, by me) and has now agreed that not only should he be allowed to do many things she has rebutted previously but his needs dictate that his budget would be a higher figure.

Now she has asked that WE (my dad as his principal carer and me) submit a plan and in doing so I have proposed a number of activities that my brother would like but it is hard for him to express what he would like to do that will get him out and about and back into the community BUT they (social workers) are being quite restrictive stating that if we cant establish things for him to do then they will budget solely on what we have proposed.
These things account only for about £9000 of a £12000 award based on his care needs, so I asked if we can be flexible on the remaining £3000 for ad hoc instances, he is quite impulsive sometimes and frustration as a by product of one of his conditions can hinder and make timetabling things hard to impossible sometimes, so flexibility is paramount.

However the SW is saying that they want to submit the budget as presented even though we have not been able to fully explore the options for my brother and very importantly when we have asked for assistance from the SW in regards organisation they could recommend to help, they have offered none.

I have promoted 2 short weekend breaks and they have allocated only £500 in total which I have been advised is an extremely paltry amount as 1 3 day trip via a local support group in a caravan is costed at £439 but they are happy to pay that without question......the group being one that actively promote no less!!

On the subject of breaks, my brother has a mobility car which we use for his transportation and associated needs which are all local and when I enquired about travelling further afield and assistance with petrol expenses, the SW advised that his DLA pays for this but all this pays for is the car and tax ....any petrol costs are paid by us as his family which we can absorb locally but further afield, ie trip to Blackpool to see the lights (one of his requested activities) is some 300 mile round trip is a bridge too far. They flatly deny that when using the car as his PA whilst under his employ, that mileage can be claimed as its a motabilitu car.
The big kicker is that even if I was using my own car for the same purpose in leui of the mobility car, the fact that he has a car on mobility then regardless, mileage cannot be claimed.
This confuses me greatly because I asked that if I was unable to provide care for a period (ie illness of annual leave) then if an outsourced PA was brought in for the exact same purpose then they would be entitled to travel costs, OR if it was cheaper for us to travel by train than drive, they would still not pay ANY travel costs purely because there is a mobility car that could be used even in doing so it would be more expensive???

It just seems like barrier after barrier with them, they ask for us to do everything then find excuse after excuse to deny 80% of the requests.

Does anyone have any advices on any of the issues I have highlighted (I apologise there are so many but the frustration just to get my brother a fair resolve is my number 1 priority 

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Replies

  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,357 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello, expecting petrol money to run your son’s mobility car is asking to much, your son’s mobility car is fully funded accept the cost of Petrol. Many would love a car funded except for the fuel cost and many disabled people have and do buy low mileage ex mobility cars. Mine is one less that 9000 miles 4 years old serviced every year regardless of mileage due to COVID-19 it done less that 12000 miles 5 and half years old. Sometimes we demand or expect more than we are entitled. 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,637 Disability Gamechanger
    On first reading several things strike me.

    1 - you’re being demanding in terms of amounts but you’ve not done the work on costings. The onus is on you and if you don’t then understandably the LA will pay less.

    2 - you’re pinning this on an individual. It won’t be an individual decision. Very convenient for having someone to attack or blame but that’s not how these things work.

    3 - DLA mobility converted to Motability is absolutely to buy or lease a vehicle and thus not for petrol. DLA as a payment can be spent on anything. 

    4 - being a PA for a relative is a very restricted role. You’re getting money to explicitly deliver care. Anything else you provide as an employee is on a contractual basis. Your petrol expenses would have had to have been agreed before the start of Sandy employment. 

    5 - if his needs are all local then why would you need to travel for their afield and why would such travel count as a care need? That appears to make no sense.
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