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Deprivation of assets

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
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  • elsienelsien Forumite
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    With no family you can cut a fair few of those out straightaway.

    I don't know why you've crossed out the court of protection stuff. If you lack capacity and don't have family then a paid service will need to apply for the financial deputyship instead.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • edited 19 May 2019 at 1:28PM
    elsienelsien Forumite
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    edited 19 May 2019 at 1:28PM
    So where does thing of ‘you can’t pay your own top up fees’ come in?

    I just don’t get it!

    It's not care homes making that decision, it's what the law says.
    Brief summary here, including the limited circumstances in which you can pay your own top up.

    https://www.independentage.org/information/support-care/paying-for-care/care-home-top-up-fees

    It's too much of a political hot potato, given the number of people who either want to pass money onto their families, complain about the family home having to be sold, or whose families are running round trying to set up trusts or give assets away to each other so as not to have to pay for care, for any government to want to lower the amounts people can keep any further than they already are.

    It's only a few years back that there were proposals to raise the means test from £23,250 to £123,000. People are very attached to their properties and handing down an inheritance, whatever your personal opinions with regards to this.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • onwards&upwardsonwards&upwards Forumite
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    It just seems a massive violation to me to tell them they can’t use their own money to pay for their own living costs and quality of life. Forbidding it by law? I am astonished.

    It’s not about wanting to keep it!
  • Gavin83Gavin83 Forumite
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    I’m horrified!

    What else are you going to be spending that kind of money on if you’re in a care home?

    If it comes to that in my old age i’ll fight that as high as it goes!
    Sea_Shell wrote: »
    Do they assess your ability to pay this amount and for how long? As your money dwindles, do they routinely reassess your ability to fund yourself?

    I'll answer some of the questions raised.

    Essentially it's all about the ability to pay. There are essentially two scenarios here:

    First scenario, someone is about to enter care, doesn't have a house or a lot of money, but lets say an amount close to the £26k limit. Person wants to live in a care home requiring a top up. In all honesty they won't be allowed to enter if no family can supply this. Top up fees are often not cheap, they can potentially run into hundreds a week. Given that and the contribution they'll need to make from their assets, plus losing their pension and no entitlement to AA the question will be asked how long that £26k will last. In all honesty not that long.

    The council doesn't want to end up in a position where a resident has to move half way through their stay. Elderly people don't move very well, there is a relatively high percentage risk of death due directly to the move (it was around 20% I think) and therefore they'll do what they need to in order to avoid this. This will include not placing them in an expensive home in the first place.

    And yes, there is always the risk that the family can no longer make the top up payment either but this is considered less risky. Maybe it's because they feel they can shift the blame of a potential death onto the family instead of the council being blamed, who knows. And yes, there are family who agree to a top up payment and then stop paying it after a month, expecting that the council will pay it instead. It won't happen.

    The second scenario is someone who has been self funding for a number of years, normally due to owning a house and now that money has run out and they're below the £26k threshold. In this scenario, given the previous contributions the council will often try and negotiate a lower fee, possibly at the council rate and they are sometimes successful. If a top up fee is required it can, in effect come out of the residents money and the council will ignore this due to what I said above about moving the resident being a last resort. However if that money runs out they'll still ultimately need to move.

    There are a surprising number of potential expenses for a care home resident but honestly this is a secondary issue, mostly it comes down to their ability to fund the placement for a period of time. Care home residents are generally expected to live about 2 years, if they can't fund beyond this it'll become a problem.

    I disagree with some here, it will normally be the council that'll refuse a placement based on finances. It can be the care home though, it'll depend on who arranges the placement. Care homes are mostly private businesses, they are free to refuse people if they wish. However unlike the council I don't believe care homes carry out any sort of financial assessment.
    Mojisola wrote: »
    In practice, you could argue that moving home would be detrimental to your welfare and fight to stay. You would have to pay the council everything bar the pocket money to go towards the fees.

    You could of course fight this (like you can fight anything) but it's extremely unlikely you'd win. It's detrimental to any care home residents welfare to move and if they die as a result it'll just be considered as an unfortunate incident. As I said above this is why councils are so particular about who they place where, to avoid any moves.

    There are a handful of circumstances where the council would pay a top up fee, the resident running out of money isn't one of them.
  • onwards&upwardsonwards&upwards Forumite
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    Even if top up fees are £300 a week, 26 grand will last 86 weeks which is over a year and a half. For someone who has already been in care long enough to exhaust house sale proceeds and all other savings, that may well be enough if the average stay is only 2 years as was posted above.

    The pocket money allowed from the state pension should be enough for everything else, I know I wouldn’t mind sacrificing haircuts and new clothes for the ability to stay in the care home i’d chosen!
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    AnotherJoe wrote: »
    When my mum went into such a swanky private care home, there was no assessment at all. Othe homes may of course have different rules.
    She also had a 6 week "waiver" on paying fees immediately (they were still due) to be able to put her house on the market

    For many people, the bulk of their capital is in the home and the council have to ignore the house value for the first 12 weeks residence when they do the financial assessment.

    This was the case for my Dad so the council paid their set amount for the first 12 weeks and I paid the rest from his funds. That money didn't have to be repaid.

    After that we had to sign a deferred payment scheme whereby the council continued to pay but put a charge on the house and that money was paid back to them when the house sold.

    If you have enough capital not to need any council help, it's entirely down to you which home you choose and how you pay for it.
  • Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
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    It just seems a massive violation to me to tell them they can’t use their own money to pay for their own living costs and quality of life. Forbidding it by law? I am astonished.

    It’s not about wanting to keep it!

    No it is not, top up is something that can be done while the LA are funding at least part of your care costs. Savings are taken into account on how much you contribute so they are being used up as part of your contribution, you can’t use them to top up as well as that would mean your saving are depleted faster and the LA would have to pay more once your funds had run out.
  • seven-day-weekendseven-day-weekend Forumite
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    lisyloo wrote: »
    If you have a private pension that allows you to stay in a home of your choice then you can do so.

    But if you have say £200 per week private income you can NOT use that £200 per week for a luxury upgrade.

    If the basic care home is £500, then you pay £200 and the local authority pays £300.

    You can NOT use it to top up to a £700 luxury care home and expect the tax payer to pay £500.

    The tax payer will not pay for luxury.
    LA are really hard pushed with increasing levels of elderly and austerity imposed upon them.

    Are YOU prepared to pay higher tax levels?

    So no you cannot get luxury and choice if you want tax payer funding.

    If you don’t require tax payer funding you can have exactly what you want.

    If you have sufficient income to pay for your care in a luxury home (as did one old lady I know), then you can pay for that yourself.

    However, another old lady may only have her State Pension and Attendance Allowance, so those and the LA contribution won't be enough to pay the fee the luxury home charges. Therefore she will not be able to chose that home.

    Have I understood that correctly?
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
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  • seven-day-weekendseven-day-weekend Forumite
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    It just seems a massive violation to me to tell them they can’t use their own money to pay for their own living costs and quality of life. Forbidding it by law? I am astonished.

    It’s not about wanting to keep it!

    They do use their own money. The fees are paid by their State Pension and any other income they may have, except for £26.50. Then if necessary, the Council pay the rest, up to a certain limit.

    If they chose a more expensive home, and do not have the funds from these sources, then relatives have to pay the top-up fee. The person in the home can't pay, say, £15 out of their £26.50 towards it.

    That's ho I understand it, someone will correct me if I am wrong.
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • onwards&upwardsonwards&upwards Forumite
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    No it is not, top up is something that can be done while the LA are funding at least part of your care costs. Savings are taken into account on how much you contribute so they are being used up as part of your contribution, you can’t use them to top up as well as that would mean your saving are depleted faster and the LA would have to pay more once your funds had run out.


    So here’s a scenario, you’ve lived for 4 or 5 years in an £800 a week care home paying for it yourself out of your savings, pension income and the proceeds from selling your home.

    You live longer than you expected and eventually you are down to 26,000 in capital.

    If you have a well off child or other relative then the council will pay their rate (let’s say £500) happily and let your well off relative pay £300 and you get to stay where you are, where you have made friends, where the staff know you, your home.

    If you don’t have any family, or they can’t afford to help you, then the council are no longer willing to pay the £500 they would have been?
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