900 people have had a reduction in care fees after Northamptonshire woman’s court case

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A court victory by a Northamptonshire woman has so far seen 900 cared-for adults being given full or partial refunds of their County Council fees.

It follows a High Court case in March 2015, which saw a judge rule that the way County Hall worked out charges was legally flawed and that a 35-year-old woman with severe learning disabilities (referred to as KM) had paid too much for her care as a result.

Latest figures from Northamptonshire County Council show it reviewed 1,200 cases and made changes for about 900 people.

A spokeswoman said: “The council made changes to the charging policy in May 2015. The changes meant that some service users were given a higher allowance in the financial assessment.”

Furthermore, all of those who had been charged care fees but shouldn’t have been have now been given back at least some money.

The spokeswoman said: “The charges were either refunded or the subsequent credit was offset against current or future invoices.”

At the time of the case, Mr Justice Gilbart said the council’s former method of calculating charges under its “fairer contributions policy” was legally flawed and “adds about one third to the current level of contribution”.

Predicting the effect on cared-for people in Northamptonshire, the judge said the policy may affect large numbers of people whose contributions “are also being exaggerated through NCC’s failure to apply the national guidance or to make its policy sufficiently clear”.

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