- What is ordinary residence?
- Why is ordinary residence important?
- When does ordinary residence apply?
- Who does ordinary residence apply to?
- How is ordinary residence put into practice?
Ordinary residence describes the place that a person has chosen to live, whether in the short or long term.
A person can be considered as an ordinary resident as soon as they move into an area, whether or not they have a property in another council area.
There is no minimum time that a person has to be living in a particular area for them to be considered as ordinarily resident there. It depends on what connection they have to it, for example if they have moved to be closer to their family.
The council must meet the care and support needs of those people who are ordinarily resident in their area. So it is vital that the council knows which people they are responsible for, and that people know who they should contact when they need care and support.
Following an assessment of need the council is required to meet the eligible needs of people who are ordinarily resident in the area.
Sometimes a person’s needs can only be met by them moving to certain types of accommodation. This could be a care home, nursing home or in supported living. If this accommodation is in another council area, the council which first arranged their care is responsible for meeting their needs.
If a person chooses to move to live in a different area without the council making the arrangements, they would usually become an ordinary resident of the council where the new accommodation is situated.
Ordinary residence applies differently to adults and carers.
Adults eligible care and support needs will be met by the council in which they are ordinarily resident.
Carers eligible care and support needs will be met by the council in which the person that they are caring for is ordinarily resident.
If a person goes into hospital in another council area, they are ordinarily resident in the area where they were living before they went into hospital. However long someone is in hospital, the first council will still be responsible for their care and support needs.
If a person who is ordinarily resident in England goes into hospital in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, their ordinary residence will still be in their council area in England.
In most cases it is easy to decide where a person is ordinarily resident. But when this is not clear the council meeting the needs of the adult must continue to do so while the issue is resolved.
If no council is currently meeting the person’s needs, then it is the one where the person is living or is physically present who is responsible until the dispute is resolved.
For those people who lack mental capacity to make decisions about their accommodation, councils must follow the Mental Capacity Act and its guidance.