The family of a disabled man have slammed Waltham Forest council for a "chaotic" and "overly complex" review process that led them to believe his care package was being sliced by up to £480 a week.

Tony O' Rourke, 52, is epileptic and has severe learning disabilities where he requires 24-hour care at his supported accommodation in Abbotts Park Road, Leyton.

Since December he has undergone three reviews to assess his needs as a result of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) transferring to local authority control.

Following the outcome of his latest ILF review, his mother and brother, James O' Rourke, were given a panel decision sheet that showed two contrasting figures, suggesting his overall disability benefit was being cut by 63 per cent.

They feared he would lose his independence and his home of 15 years as a result of not being able to fund the community care he currently receives from Outward Housing. 

The council has now admitted there was "confusion" over Tony's care package which has been reduced by £840 a year and not £23,000. 

Councillor Angie Bean, responsible for adult services, said: "There is no significant change to Mr O’Rourke’s care package following the government’s decision to scrap the ILF.

"After a recent reassessment, the reduction is £4.04 per week compared to the funding he received under the ILF – there’s clearly been confusion between the indirect and direct payments that make up Mr O’Rourke’s care package.

"We’re absolutely committed to ensuring Mr O’Rourke has access to the care he needs to live as independently as possible.

"In addition to the care package he receives, Mr O’Rourke attends a care facility two days each week through his supported living scheme, which the council provides."

The £4.04 reduction from £765.67 to £761.63 was not mentioned or listed in any of Tony's ILF review documents.

Mr O' Rourke, 53, of Wellington Avenue, Chingford, is a former High Street ward councillor and social worker of twenty years.

He said: "My family's experience of the review process is chaotic, overly complex and uncoordinated with very poor standards of information and recording.

"The mere fact that I've had to go to extraordinary lengths, as Tony's advocate, to get copies of review information is testament.

"To present vulnerable adults and, or their elderly carers, such as my mother, with such complex, incomplete and inaccurate documents is scandalous.

"Even with the experience I've got, I could not make head nor tail of Tony's review.

"The £4 figure was not mentioned anywhere - we were only able to go on the calculations we were given.

"I still believe there is a larger reduction to Tony's funding than the council contends."

The council refused to explain other changes to his care package, including deleting £44.44 a week which paid for transport and carer support so that Tony could visit his mother for four hours a week.

Steve Jenner of the Plain English Campaign, described the assessment documents as "impenetrable 'gobbledygook'". 

"The conclusion we draw from this is that it is only because the recipient's family stood up and said 'no this is wrong,' and involved the press that any kind of explanation has been offered.

"If reasonable and concerned family members believe that the effect of the changes in a family member's benefits is £480 and the true changes are £4 as a result of the information given, then something has gone very, very, wrong."

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Mr O Rourke said the council is making it is "impossible" for families of vulnerable adults to understand changes to care packages