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Disabled man’s father loses legal challenge over paying for his care.

In a local case, the issue of having to pay towards care costs was also considered.  On 29th April, the High Court ruled that the Western Health Trust is entitled to charge for respite care provided to a severely disabled man (“PH”). 

The father of the 42-year old, who suffers from a learning disability and manic depression, brought the challenge after the Trust changed its policy from charging nothing to charging £75 per week.  His lawyer questioned the legality of his client’s son being required to pay for respite care out of his benefit income.  His lawyer contended that this breached the government’s obligations under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons (NI) Act 1978 and the Human Rights Act.

The Court held that the argument on the alleged interference with PH’s human rights had not been made out.  It highlighted that PH had not been assessed as requiring respite care and, even if the Trust was under a duty to provide it, it would still be obliged to charge under the Personal Social Services (NI) Order 1972.  The Court held therefore that the Trust had acted lawfully in taking PH’s benefit into account when calculating the charge for PH’s respite care.

For coverage from the BBC please click here.