When a spouse goes into care.......

jenniferniljennifernil Forumite
5.3K Posts
Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
✭✭✭✭
Just a question so we can plan ahead....

OH (who is 6 years older than me) has the bulk of our income, state pension about £7400, company pension about £23000, another pension about £4000. I only have state pension about £2600.

So, if OH had to go into care, would they take all his pensions to pay for his care ? We have savings over the limit, although most of them are in my name, so he would be self funding initally anyway.

If they take all his pensions, what do I live on? How does it all work?

I have searched for info, but cannot find anything about it.
«1

Replies

  • Alter_egoAlter_ego Forumite
    3.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    I think you'd have to live on savings, and Pension credit if it is applicable.
    I am not a cat (But my friend is)
  • jenniferniljennifernil Forumite
    5.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    That doesn't sound good!

    How does Pension Credit work?
  • PollycatPollycat Forumite
    31.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Savvy Shopper!
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi there, jennifernil.

    I've been doing a lot of organising my Mum & Dad's finances as Dad has just gone into a care home.

    There's lots of stuff to read, you obviously know about the £23,250 limit on savings above which you have to fully fund your own care.
    You might find this website helpful, they have lots of factsheets and guides that they'll send you on request.
    http://www.counselandcare.org.uk/advice-and-information
    There's some about how a house is treated too which may be relevant to you.

    Re your income:
    Your best bet is to check out the Directgov website:
    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Pensionsandretirementplanning/PensionCredit/DG_10018692

    There's 2 elements to Pension Credit:
    Guarantee Credit
    Savings Credit

    If you have less than £137.35 per week income, you may get Guarantee credit but they assume £1 income for every £500 savings you have over £10,000 so it will depend how much savings you have.

    Savings Credit is harder to understand but you might be eligible if you've made some provision towards your retirement e.g. savings or other pension.

    If you manage to get Guarantee credit, you may also qualify for Council Tax benefit and Housing Benefit (if you don't own) and also gives you lots of other benefits such as free dental care etc.

    If your pension is really only £50 per week, I'd guess (but don't quote me on this) that if your savings are in excess of £54,000 you wouldn't qualify for guarnatee credit.

    E.G.
    Income £50 per week
    Savings of £54,000 - less £10,000 (disregarded) = £44,000 @ £1 for every £500 = £88.00.
    £50 + £88 = £138.00 per week and is higher than the £137.35 they say you need to live on - so not entitled to Guarantee credit

    Re your OH's occupational pension, they will either take it all towards his care home fees or allow you 50% if that is more advantageous to you.
    With my Mum, who only has her reduced state pension and savings a few £K over £10000, it was better for them to take the whole of Dad's small occupational pension and leave Mum to qualify for Guarantee credit.

    Actually, what they take is explained very well in one of the Counsel & Care guides so might be an idea if you check that out.

    There's a pension credit calculator, although it does say to ring them if your partner is in a care home, I found it pretty accurate if I put Mum in as 'single'.

    If you're over the limit for Pension Credit, you may have to use your savings.

    I'm on a pretty steep learning curve and hopefully am getting to the end of it.
  • Pollycat has covered most things you need to consider and I would second her advice to use Counsel and Care for advice. There are a few other things to consider. Your house value should be disregarded from asessments whilst you remain living there. You are not obliged to disclose your savings or income but as your individual income is low it probably will be advantageous to disclose. All your OH's income will be assessed and in the worst case he will only be left with a small weekly allowance of around £20 for personal expenses. This depends on how much the care home costs.

    Your OH may be able to claim NHS funded continuing healthcare this is non-means and paid by the NHS. To claim this you will need to demonstrate that his primary need is medical rather than domestic. If you do a search on this forum you will find a long thread on CHC. If not CHC then a nursing supplement may be paid but this is paid direct to the care home and normally does not reduce fees.

    Finally as a self-funder your OH is able to continue to receive Attendance Allowance and this benefit is non-means tested.
  • jenniferniljennifernil Forumite
    5.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks everyone, I have bookmarked the various websites and will work my way through them.

    It is comforting to see that I would be allowed to receive half of his company pension.
  • edited 10 August 2011 at 6:57PM
    arunadasiarunadasi Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭
    edited 10 August 2011 at 6:57PM
    Pollycat wrote: »



    Re your OH's occupational pension, they will either take it all towards his care home fees or allow you 50% if that is more advantageous to you.

    Just wanted to add the following: in my experience they don't give two hoots about "what is advantageous to you".

    My husband had to go into care last January. I have been his carer at home for about five years but it became physically impossible. We lived from his occupational pension from Germany.

    After the financial assessment, we were told his entire pension, except for £22 pocket money per week, would go towards his care home fees. When I asked, what about me? I was told to call the Benefits office. The lady kindly wrote down the telephone number. *sarcasm alert*.

    In other words, I was left with nothing, and nobody cared. I appealed against the decision immediately; Adult Social Care told me I had to "prove" it was an occupational pension, and not a state pension. Even though they had actually themsevlves put down Occupational Pension on their letter of what I had to pay.

    This has been going on for months. In the meantime my husband has moved to a care home in Germany, as he gets care home insurance and other help there. I got the bill form the care home -- even though ASC knew I had appealed, they passed the bill over to the home.

    Since then -- silence. I paid half the care home bill and £1600 remains open. Adult Social Care are not responding to any letter from me to get on with it and pay up. After the care home again asked for the money still owed them, I filed a claim with the Small Claims Court.

    I went to a solicitor first. She said the case is clear that ASC has to disregard half of the pension if it is paid to me, and that is the case.

    Sorry for this rant; just wanted to say that "they" don't always do what is best for you, but what is best for them. YOu need to check yourself what is advantageous to yourself.

    I am now moving to Germany to be near to dear hubby.

    Good luck with getting some money back. Keep us posted!
  • arunadasiarunadasi Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭
    This is another good link. The bit about occupation pensions disregard is in chapter 8.026:

    Charging for Residential Accomodation Guide 2011
  • jenniferniljennifernil Forumite
    5.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks, sounds like you are having a very difficult time. I hope you get them to see sense soon.

    Fortunately my OH is still very fit and well, we just wanted to know what the situation would be in case we needed to move capital between us for the best outcome.

    OH has 3 pensions, UK state pension, occupational pension, and about £4k state pension from Norway. Should I assume I will not be allowed to keep any of this Norwegian pension? Part of it is an addition because he has a wife to look after.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
    43.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    OH has 3 pensions, UK state pension, occupational pension, and about £4k state pension from Norway. Should I assume I will not be allowed to keep any of this Norwegian pension? Part of it is an addition because he has a wife to look after.
    I don't want to alarm you, because this isn't an area I know anything about really, BUT is this a current wife, or an ex-wife, and if it's an ex-wife, are the pair of you married to each other now?

    If you and OH are NOT married, the situation MAY be quite different, and I would hate for you only to discover this too late to do anything about it (if indeed you can do anything about it).
    Signature removed for peace of mind
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides