Financial assessment for care home fees !!

Hello all, hope sombody out there may be able to offer me some advice/reassurance.

My elderly mother sold her house in July 2002 to come and live with my family - i am her daughter - she realised app.£57,000 from this.
Over the next few years a series of improvements/alterations were made to my family home to accomodate both mum's needs and to make family life easier from the proceeds.

Mum is currently residing at a care home due to my being unable to attend her needs at home, she has had several falls in the last 6 months requiring 2 admissions to hospital and has had ulcerated feet for app.18months which have severely limited her mobility, also arthiritis in her arms/shoulders and a sackful of medication.

I am now being asked by the NHS to account for where this money has been used to mum's benefit and how has my Mother's pension been spent over this period also.

How could affect funding for mum's future care?
Could i be liable to remortgage my home to make payments?
Could i be asked to sell my home?
Who should i speak to about this as it is causing me great concern?

Thanks in advance.
«1

Replies

  • weanieweanie Forumite
    262 Posts
    As I understand it, if your mum was fit enough not to have anticipated her need to go into a care home, she would be entitled to do whatever she wished to do with her home and the money gained from the sale.
    The problem arises when it can be suggested that the person has planned or perhaps relatives have planned to deprive the council of assets by changing arrangements in the full knowledge that these plans are afoot. The council have a responsibility to chase such cases for any money they can find. I think you would be advised to contact a body such as Age Concern in order to be reassured and guided through any dealings to come. Good luck.
  • OldernotwiserOldernotwiser
    37.4K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Surely you'll have receipts and details to show how the money was spent?
  • L-J-RL-J-R Forumite
    32 Posts
    I can't believe what I've just read - though, in truth, sadly I can. What on earth do these busybodies think someone's pension goes on other than food,heat etc?
    I don't think you can be asked to do anything with your home, but
    try asking the knowledgeable posters at - can't post direct link but try making sense of worldwide web.freenursingcare.findtalk.net
    for some practical advice and contact your Citizen's Advice people.
  • scotsbobscotsbob Forumite
    4.6K Posts
    gemaabc123 wrote: »
    I am now being asked by the NHS to account for where this money has been used to mum's benefit and how has my Mother's pension been spent over this period also.

    With regard to the second part of that request, your answer is surely very simple. Your mother was never required to acoount to you, or anyone else, how she spent her money.

    So far as the first request is concerned, even HMRC only advice on keeping accounts and receipts for a maximum six year period. The NHS appear to require you to have kept records for almost nine years!!

    Personally, I would be contacting a solicitor who specialises in such cases. Once the NHS see you won't just roll over I think they will back off.
  • Newly_retiredNewly_retired Forumite
    2.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    Age Uk, formerly Age Concern is the way to go.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
    43.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    could also be worth looking at CHC funding - your mother may or may not be entitled to it, but this thread will give you an idea.
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • gemaabc123 wrote: »
    Hello all, hope sombody out there may be able to offer me some advice/reassurance.

    My elderly mother sold her house in July 2002 to come and live with my family - i am her daughter - she realised app.£57,000 from this.
    Over the next few years a series of improvements/alterations were made to my family home to accomodate both mum's needs and to make family life easier from the proceeds.

    Mum is currently residing at a care home due to my being unable to attend her needs at home, she has had several falls in the last 6 months requiring 2 admissions to hospital and has had ulcerated feet for app.18months which have severely limited her mobility, also arthiritis in her arms/shoulders and a sackful of medication.

    I am now being asked by the NHS to account for where this money has been used to mum's benefit and how has my Mother's pension been spent over this period also.

    How could affect funding for mum's future care?
    Could i be liable to remortgage my home to make payments?
    Could i be asked to sell my home?
    Who should i speak to about this as it is causing me great concern?

    Thanks in advance.

    Is it the NHS asking for this information or the Local Council Social Services department? If the NHS are funding her care under the Continuing Healthcare scheme this should be non-means tested so I can't see any reason for them to ask for this financial information. If it is the SS they may be trying to prove that your Mother has deliberately deprived herself of the capital assets derived from the sale of her property.

    A gift may be considered a deliberate deprivation of assets only if there is a reasonable possibility of a care home being needed at the time of the gift and gifts being made with the intention to reduce capital assets in order that the SS need to assist with funding. As another poster pointed out that if your Mum spent this money when there was not a obvious need in the near future for a care home placement then it is not relevant. The SS can theoretically look back as far as they like but can only recover money from the recipient for a period of 6 months. I am not sure what powers they have to investigate but I guess they could make life difficult if they decided to. There is a possibility that if you cannot prove alterations to the family home were necessary solely to accommodate your Mum that they could argue that your Mum has a beneficial interest in part of the value of the house but they could not force a sale of the house. However, you were not obliged to house your Mum rent free so you could claim part of any money given was rent. You are allowed to take a lodger and not pay income tax on the income on the first around £4000. (you would need to check this figure for the relevant years)

    If the SS do decide that your Mum has deliberately deprived herself of assets then the most likely outcome is that they would assess her as still having these assets. They would still have to assist with her care home fees if her assets plus notional deprived assets were below the lower savings limit of £23,500.

    As regards the pension they will probably try to prove that your Mum should not have needed to reduce her capital as she did not spend all her pension on herself. But for instance did she pay towards her food or light heat or power or transport?

    I do think you would be well advised to speak to one of the specialist charities operating in this area. My suggestion would be www.counselandcare.org.uk that has some very good fact sheets on their website and operate a very good helpline that hopefully can assist.

    I would fight this all the way as you have provided your Mum with a home and care since 2002 during which time I doubt the Council needed to make any contribution or expend any effort. If you ignore the pension you are looking at £57,000 less the lower savings limit of £23500, i.e. the equivalent of about £4500 per year.
  • OldernotwiserOldernotwiser
    37.4K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    L-J-R wrote: »
    I can't believe what I've just read - though, in truth, sadly I can. What on earth do these busybodies think someone's pension goes on other than food,heat etc?
    I don't think you can be asked to do anything with your home, but
    try asking the knowledgeable posters at - can't post direct link but try making sense of worldwide web.freenursingcare.findtalk.net
    for some practical advice and contact your Citizen's Advice people.

    You seem to have missed the point that the question isn't about what the pension has been spent on but where the £57,000 from the mother's house has gone.
  • L-J-RL-J-R Forumite
    32 Posts
    My comment referred to ,,,,, am now being asked by the NHS to account for where this money has been used to mum's benefit and how has my Mother's pension been spent over this period also.
    As a state pension is barely enough to keep body and soul together, I think my comment was pertinent - hope so any way!
  • KatykatKatykat Forumite
    1.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭
    OP, the first thing I would tell you is that the NHS has NO LEGAL right to question anyone about their finances. When your mum was admitted to the care home, she SHOULD have had an assessment for fully funded continuing health care. This means that if you mum is classed as having HEALTH needs rather than SOCIAL needs, then the NHS should fund all her care home fees, AND SHE IS ALLOWED TO KEEP ALL OF HER STATE PENSION. She wouldn't get any other benefits though. However, the NHS ( actually Primary Care Trusts) will find every excuse to deny that your mum has HEALTH needs rather than SOCIAL needs. They usually deny funding and then it is up to the relatives to fight for it. If they deny funding, then the Local Authority take over the care fees and unfortunately, this funding is means tested and the Local Authority do have the legal right to ask where the money has gone. HOWEVER- when your mum sold her house, if she did not know that she was ill, or going to be ill and needing care, then it cannot be classed as deprivation of assests. Many people think that if you need care within 7 yrs of selling or giving your property away then that is classed as deprivation, but in their documentation, they actually state 6 month. CRAG also document 6 months, but in actual fact, these are only their own GUIDELINES, and its not LAW. It would be up to them to prove that she deliberately deprived herself.
    Jusr remember, the NHS CANNOT means test anyone. Free health care is exactly that- FREE.
    This is the link for NHS Continuing care forum
    http://freenursingcare.findtalk.net/general-chat-f1/?sid=6ddbb732d7531656d701f775cabccfb3
    :smileyhea A SMILE COSTS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING
This discussion has been closed.
Latest News and Guides