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A Shocking And Awful Update On Mark And Steven Neary

September 14, 2012

When loving father Mark Neary was fighting his battle to have his son, Steven, who has autism, returned to his care at home, I followed the case closely and fully supported his fight.

I was very pleased when the Nearys won their battle, and when Hillingdon council admitted that they had held Steven Neary in their residential care services unlawfully. They were then ordered by a court to pay the family compensation.

So imagine my shock when I read an awful update on the Nearys. Yesterday, Matthew Smith wrote on Facebook:

Mark Neary, who won his battle to get his autistic adult son Stephen out of a care home in Hillingdon, west London, is facing separation from him again because the council has stopped his housing benefit on a technicality. They will pay for Stephen’s care but not for his father to do it, as that would not be “independent”. This appears to be clear revenge for his earlier court battle and the humiliation of the compensation award.

Mark Neary explains in more detail at his personal blog.

And Anna Raccoon, who has also followed the case closely for quite a while, has posted on this latest development here.

Mr Neary has clearly always wanted to care for his son at home. Most importantly, this is where Steven was, is and will be most comfortable. This is why I believe the family should be allowed to stay together. As I wrote to Matthew Smith, I will be doing anything I can to help them in their second battle to do so. I will keep you updated.

Update 1pm: I’m very pleasantly surprised to see that The Times have covered this. I do hope it gets wider press coverage.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2012 9:08 am

    The compensation isn’t due to the whole family — only to Stephen — and the council may be able to use that to offset any housing benefit costs they may incur when funding Stephen’s care after they’ve got Mark out of the picture. So this is their way of getting out of paying any compensation as well as getting Stephen back into institutional care.

  2. samedifference1 permalink*
    September 14, 2012 9:14 am

    Terrible. No words except to say that councils are crazy!

  3. September 14, 2012 10:28 am

    This is an example of the council rightly following the housing benefit rules to the letter. It is a means tested benefit therefore £35k of compensation is regarded as either income or savings of the household and has to be taken into consideration when it comes to calculating the amount of benefit paid. It does seem unfair in this case unfortunately the rules do not allow for a differation between compensation, a monetary gift or lottery win when it comes to benefit calculation. As the father/ full time carer of an autistic adult I know first hand what looking after an autism sufferer entails and I feel for Mr Neary. There would need to be a change in legislation for this type of injustice to be corrected.

  4. samedifference1 permalink*
    September 14, 2012 10:33 am

    I see your point, Trevor. Thanks for making it. The case still seems terribly unfair to me though as there is much more to it than money.

  5. February 28, 2013 7:57 pm

    This is about power and revenge and a rotten vindictive Council.They want their money back and in doing so regain some pride amongst themselves ,

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