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Should my wife and I spend all our savings?

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  • edited 28 February at 5:44PM
    NeilCrNeilCr Forumite
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    edited 28 February at 5:44PM
    fred246 said:
    I took over power of attorney for an elderly couple. They had kept every item of paperwork since they were born. They both had distinctive writing. In the paperwork was an envelope from the citizens advice bureau with a disability claim form that someone had written on. The writing was not in either of their handwriting. There is nothing illegal about it. Obviously if someone signs for statements that aren't true then that is. I have never seen the form that was sent in. These days the criteria will be all over the internet.
    We often "do the writing" for people. It's an easier way of working especially if the client is suffering from some sort of disability. The way I do it is to put my pen down, talk through the criteria, arrive at a wording that the client agrees with and is the truth. I then read back what I am going to write before committing to paper.

    If there is the time (clients sometimes bring the form in close to when it has to be in by) I copy or scan the form, give the client the original back, show them where to sign and ask them to read it over again before despatch. This is, particularly, valuable if they have attended alone and have someone else who knows the effect their condition has on them. It's amazing what clients believe they can do when their partner thinks the complete opposite. In my experience, especially, men!. Sounds like your couple may have also made a copy for themselves. Sensible. 

    You are right there is nothing illegal and, yes, the criteria is all over the internet. There are  some excellent guides online. Some people, though, lack the confidence to complete what can be a daunting form. And, often, having someone neutral with experience assisting them is helpful.


  • KxMxKxMx Forumite
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    I found DAB invaluable in helping me fill in ESA forms.

    I am so used to the way I have to live with all my problems and the coping strategies that get me through day to day; that it takes a neutral outside view to prompt realisations that the way I live is normal to me but actually not normal in general. And the forms need to know about the latter.
  • fred246fred246 Forumite
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    It's interesting threads like this. There I am perusing paperwork from 20 years ago. I have no idea who or what the citizens advice bureau is. Never been to one. I just find this envelope and think "Ooh I wonder whether these people told her what to write." That would be naughty. I post and then NeilCr responds so vociferously "that couldn't possibly be the case". He has no idea what happened 20 years ago. The thread goes on a bit and in the end I am 100% sure that my suspicion is correct.
  • elsienelsien Forumite
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    The DWP will scribe for people in some circumstances. What they absolutely will not to is tell people what to put. 
    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 3 March at 10:42AM
    fred246fred246 Forumite
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    edited 3 March at 10:42AM
    CAB is a charity. It's not illegal to tell someone the answers that would qualify someone for benefits. It's illegal to sign a claim form containing untrue statements. No-one will ever really know what went on 20 years ago but when someone posts claiming to KNOW then to me it makes it more suspicious. The CAB must have been accused of doing this because he was very touchy about the subject.
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  • QuackQuackOopsQuackQuackOops Forumite
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    fred246 said:
    NeilCr said:

    fred246 said:t
    I took over the care of an elderly recently and I must say the benefits system does seem a bit strange. One of them had been to the citizens advice bureau 20 years previously and they had told them what to put on their disability claim. So they had received 20 years of payments for arthritis. When I checked out disability payments they are to 'help with the costs of disability'. There were no extra costs. Not a penny. They lived with someone who was on attendance allowance. This was to help with costs of caring. Nobody was paid for caring. The only possible carer was the disabled person. Both payments were non means tested.
    On the disability part of this forum was a thread on what people spent disability payments on. Grandchildren, first class air tickets, christmas presents etc. When I said I thought the payments were to be spent on the costs of being disabled I was told that was wrong. Disabled people should just get more money.
    I met someone who worked for motability. She was telling me that other europeans were bringing disabled people across to the UK so they could claim for a motability car for the family to use. They couldn't believe that the UK handed out free cars. I was amazed to discover not only do they give out free brand new cars every three years on a 'just add fuel' scheme but they get £600 every time they return their car.
    I think taxpayer's money should be more carefully looked after. The whole benefits system needs revamping. A reimbursement scheme would make sense to me. You need a wheelchair? OK buy one and send us the bill.
    To claim PIP (which is the benefit that enables you to get a Motability car) you have had to live in the UK for at least two years so you might want to take what you were told by the person who works for Motability with a pinch of salt. You, also, have to go through a medical and a flawed system

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/before-claiming/check-you-are-eligible/

    Motability cars are not free. 

    I was just asking a lady who told me she worked for motability about her job. We were part of the EU and people could travel anywhere within it. She mentioned that there were a lot driving round Warsaw. It seems you even get free European Cover.
    https://www.motability.co.uk/your-lease/car/taking-your-car-abroad/
    I didn't get a chance to ask her exactly the procedure followed but she said families were claiming them and then driving them there and then using them regularly as everyday transport. Not sure whether all the rules were followed or not but no reason to suspect she wasn't telling the truth.
    You cannot live in the EU and claim disability benefits.
    You can go live on Spain and claim other benefits (could...don't know if you still can after Brexit) ....but not DLA/pip.
  • QuackQuackOopsQuackQuackOops Forumite
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    fred246 said:
    You can get Attendance Allowance even if no-one, actually, cares for you
    Form the government website:
    Attendance Allowance helps with extra costs if you have a disability severe enough that you need someone to help look after you. You do not have to have someone caring for you in order to claim.
    It is clearly completely bonkers. If someone needs help then agree to pay for it. Giving money out to people that have absolutely no need for it is just a waste of taxpayers money. It could be spent on the NHS.
    They do have a need for it.  It's needed for their on going expenses due to being disabled in order to help them live a more normal life.
    You don't need to have a carer to claim it.
    Example.....my MIL claims attendance allowance. She can barely walk and didn't have a carer when she claimed it.
    It helped to pay for things such as incontinence pads....buying items online which were more expensive due to paying delivery charges.....paying for taxis to Drs as she couldn't get on a bus.....items to help her such as a grabber stick....shoe horn....hearing aid.....rails in bathroom etc.
    All sorts of stuff.
    Not everything is provided free and even when it is....it's not always suitable.


    I think you ought to take some time to understand the benefits before you moan about them.
  • Voyager2002Voyager2002 Forumite
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    Hi, my wife and I are both 77. We have savings of 80K which has taken most of our married life of 57 years. Sadly we have no company pensions only the sate pension to keep us going. Our mortgage we paid off 20 years ago ( instead of quality holidays others chose). We have no debts we do not believe in HP.

    My main question is, can you advse me if it is worth us keeping our savings locked up in good ISA’s or should we spend it all on our family and a few holidays and then qualify for benefits??

    One point that has not really been made in the discussion: the most obvious reason why people in their late 70s would want significant savings is to pay for a nice care home. On average, someone who requires residential care lives in their care home for three years, at an annual cost of £50,000.

    Now, it is clear that Peter and his wife do not have enough money to fund ending their lives like this. So I struggle to see how they could benefit from holding on to their savings.

    As others have posted, it is unlikely that they would qualify for means-tested benefits if they simply 'blew' their savings, even leaving aside the rules on deprivation of capital.

  • PiersHudsonPiersHudson Forumite
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    Why wouldnt you use the money you have to pay your bills?

    What's the point in saving it if it's going to just sit there.

    I actively encourage my parents to do as they see fit with their cash. They have their house paid off etc too and arent as old as you but I'm  not waiting to receive it and would be mortified if they posted similar suggesting they didn't have enough coming in monthly but we're dishing out handouts.

    Also I'm not sure why you would throw it away to claim benefits which seems to be what your post suggests.

    You are fortunate enough to be able to have savings to support you later in life. Thats what they are there for.

    I couldn't say better
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