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Adult Social Care Glossary, v 0.41

Ordinary residence

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Definition or reference in Statutory Guidance
Care and Support Statutory Guidance

How to determine ordinary residence

19.12 The local authority's responsibility for meeting a person's eligible needs under the Care Act is based on the concept of ordinary residence. However, there is no definition of ordinary residence in the Care Act. Therefore, the term should be given its ordinary and natural meaning.

19.13 In most cases, establishing the person's ordinary residence is a straightforward matter. However, this is not always the case. There will be circumstances in which ordinary residence is not as clear cut, for example when people spend their time in more than one area, or move between areas. Where uncertainties arise, local authorities should always consider each case on its own merits.

19.14 The concept of ordinary residence involves questions of both fact and degree. Factors such as time, intention and continuity (each of which may be given different weight according to the context) have to be taken into account. The courts have considered the meaning of ordinary residence and the leading case is that of Shah v London Borough of Barnet (1983). In this case, Lord Scarman stated that: "unless ... it can be shown that the statutory framework or the legal context in which the words are used requires a different meaning I unhesitatingly subscribe to the view that ordinarily resident refers to a man's abode in a particular place or country which he has adopted voluntarily and for settled purposes as part of the regular order of his life for the time being, whether of short or long duration."

Plain English definition
Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) Jargon Buster

The place where you live, or main home, which determines which council will assess your needs and potentially fund any care and support you need. If you have more than one home, councils follow guidance from the Government to help them decide which one is your main home, and which council should fund your care.

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