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Question regarding old age pension when in hospital - long term
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# 1
joe13
Old 10-05-2006, 8:45 AM
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Default Question regarding old age pension when in hospital - long term

Good morning
I would like some advice please, problem is as follows:
My Mother in law is now starting her 4th week in hospital. Due to a severe stroke, she now cannot talk or write. She lived alone.
During her time in hospital her council tax bill has arrived and also her rent is due. How do we go about claiming her pension to enable us to pay these bills.
She has no savings and used her old age pension to pay all bills.
Also I understand that the hospital will also have a claim on her pension as she will be in the hospital for some considerable time.

How much of her pension does the hospital have a right to claim?

thanks
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# 2
Bossyboots
Old 10-05-2006, 8:59 AM
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Presumably you MIL has her money paid directly into a bank account. She will have to authorise someone to access that account (if she has mental capacity to do so). Not sure how she is going to do that though in her present condition. You need to speak to her bank and tell them the situation and ask what their requirements are.

You should also notify the council tax office about what has happened and ask what they can do to help while you sort it out, likewise her landlord. If you can get a stay on her payments for a month, hopefully you will be able to put something in place in that time.

It does sound though as if you might have to apply to the Court of Protection for someone to handle her affairs and this will take time. First off though you need to deal in the immediate situation and speak to everyone involved in her finances to alert them to the position.
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# 3
CIS
Old 10-05-2006, 9:01 AM
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To claim her pension she need to complete form BR1 or telephone her local pension centre
http://www.thepensionservice.gov.uk/contactus/home.asp
http://www.thepensionservice.gov.uk/...oads.asp#forms

IIRc the 52 week rule has now been abolished and no longer applies from 10th April 2006 (it is backdated to people in hospital prior to april).

She needs to put in a claim for penson credit as well, that may automatically give full help for her Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit. She should apply for HB/CTB irresepective of anything elese as she may get partial help, if not entitled to 100% help.
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# 4
joe13
Old 10-05-2006, 9:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bossyboots
Presumably you MIL has her money paid directly into a bank account. She will have to authorise someone to access that account (if she has mental capacity to do so). Not sure how she is going to do that though in her present condition. You need to speak to her bank and tell them the situation and ask what their requirements are.

You should also notify the council tax office about what has happened and ask what they can do to help while you sort it out, likewise her landlord. If you can get a stay on her payments for a month, hopefully you will be able to put something in place in that time.

It does sound though as if you might have to apply to the Court of Protection for someone to handle her affairs and this will take time. First off though you need to deal in the immediate situation and speak to everyone involved in her finances to alert them to the position.
Thanks for reply
I should have said she does not have a bank account and still collects her pension from the post office.
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# 5
margaretclare
Old 10-05-2006, 9:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe13
I should have said she does not have a bank account and still collects her pension from the post office.
So that must mean that she has a Post Office card account - that's the only way that anyone can collect pension from the post office nowadays.

CIS is the best person to advise here - how can the OP access MIL's Post Office card account? AFAIK there is a facility for a nominated person to operate these type of accounts as well as the holder.

Wouldn't it have been easier if she had a bank account with direct debits set up - that way the council tax etc would get paid automatically......but that's just my thought, ignore it if you like).

Margaret Clare
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# 6
joe13
Old 10-05-2006, 9:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by margaretclare
So that must mean that she has a Post Office card account - that's the only way that anyone can collect pension from the post office nowadays.

CIS is the best person to advise here - how can the OP access MIL's Post Office card account? AFAIK there is a facility for a nominated person to operate these type of accounts as well as the holder.

Wouldn't it have been easier if she had a bank account with direct debits set up - that way the council tax etc would get paid automatically......but that's just my thought, ignore it if you like).

Margaret Clare
I fully agree about the bank account, but we were unable to persuade her to open one. She is in her mid 80's.

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# 7
CIS
Old 10-05-2006, 10:03 AM
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AS I understand it you can have a nominated 3rd party with access to the card account - I believe you'd need to contact your local pension centre for the paperwork (my wife would be best to ask, but shes popped out, she dealt with card accts much more than me)

In theory anyone with the PIN and Card can access the acct, but it depends on whether the PostOffice clerk will let you withdraw without querying it.

Its a pity over the bank account side as it does give people all of the freedom to withdraw it from a cash machine when they need it, not just during post office opening hours.
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# 8
Dora the Explorer
Old 10-05-2006, 10:27 AM
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1. First of all phone the council tax and rent people and explain the situation, then confirm the conversation in writing with anything agreed made very clear and keep copies. Council and housing associations will be used to this situation.
2. Secondy, arrange a VERY URGENT appointment with social worker at your MIL's hospital who will help you to sort things out and confirm the situation to council tax and landlord.
3. Look at the back of the pension book, from memory DWP require it to be returned to them once your MIL has been in hospital for 6 weeks and the pension will stop.
4. Most important of all. Setting up enduring power of attorney will be necessary if your MIL is unable for physical health reasons to manage her own affairs or believes her cognitive abilities may fail at some point in the future, although she can sign documents with a cross if the parties concerned will accept that and she can manage it. However, as part of the EPA process your MIL's mental capacity will have to be assessed to ensure that she understands and agrees to someone having EPA for her. Again, the hospital social worker will help with this. If she is assessed as not having capacity then her affairs will be managed by the Court of Protection, who will appoint a guardian for her - and this can be you or someone else.
5. Hospital social workers are very used to the situation your MIL finds herself in and will have all the info, advice, procedures, contacts to sort it out and are worth their weight in gold at times like this. Hope your MIL improves and hope this helps.
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# 9
margaretclare
Old 10-05-2006, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe13
I fully agree about the bank account, but we were unable to persuade her to open one. She is in her mid 80's.

Thank you - no thanks button available
Thanks for the thanks. I perhaps shouldn't have made that comment, but I hear this kind of thing so often. 'I don't trust the banks, I've never had a bank account before so why should I have one now, I've always been used to going and getting my pension in cash every week and that's what I want to go on doing....' I've heard it over and over again!

DH and I have a joint account just for household bills, we also have our own current and savings accounts, our pensions continue until we die so no worries about the income stopping. If one of us is in hospital then everything just carries on as normal. This was a great reassurance to me when I spent 10 nights in hospital last December and also was fairly immobile for some weeks. People in the ward around me were stressing about 'not being able to get out to draw my pension' and having to ask others to do it for them and bring money in to their hospital bed in cash!! I had no such worries....but some people just will not listen.

Margaret Clare
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# 10
margaretclare
Old 10-05-2006, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dora the Explorer
3. Look at the back of the pension book, from memory DWP require it to be returned to them once your MIL has been in hospital for 6 weeks and the pension will stop.
No, this isn't the case, Dora.

(a) She won't have a pension book - these stopped being issued I think 2 years ago now.

(b) It won't stop after 6 weeks - this used to be the case, then it went to 52 weeks, and even this has been abolished. It will continue for her lifetime.

Margaret Clare
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# 11
Dora the Explorer
Old 10-05-2006, 1:05 PM
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Thanks Margaret, I was incorrect - must have been having a blonde moment.
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# 12
Bossyboots
Old 10-05-2006, 4:49 PM
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You used to be able to pick up the form to nominate a third party from the Post Office itself. Unfortunately though it has to be signed by the pensioner and I wonder whether the MIL in this case is sufficiently able to do that.
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