Advice with funding Care

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Hi.
I am writing this on behalf of a 76 years old female friend who, after an active life/career spent largely (50 years plus) in the field of professional health care, finds herself in the parlous position of needing almost full-time care without the means to pay for care herself and having been excluded from State funding for reasons to be explained below.
June has suffered from a life-limiting lung disease for the past 5 years which has progressively worsened to the extent that she is in borderline palliative/end-of-life care, on permanent oxygen and needing daily care in the form of personal/hygiene support and cooking/cleaning help which she cannot manage due to exhaustion brought about by considerably reduced lung capacity in this progressive disease.
June’s apparent disqualification from State support is as a consequence of her having purchased a second property 20 years ago. She took on considerable amounts of extra work in order to provide a home for life for her son, a vulnerable adult with Asperger’s Syndrome and attendant mental health issues. The intention was to gradually sever his dependency on Mum by enabling him to learn the skills of independent living so that June could be to some degree assured that, upon her death, he could manage the demands and stresses of daily life which were singularly and potently more challenging given his condition. There is no other family and he has been told that he falls below the threshold which would entitle him to support from Adult Services.  In addition, despite two psychotic episodes a request for a full psychiatric assessment has been refused.  Buying her son his home for life meant that June was unable to save for her own future.
June has been advised that owning a second property excludes her by law from all financial support. The mortgage on the second property has been paid and the house is in June’s name but will be inherited by her son when she dies.
Matters have been brought to a head in recent months due to deterioration in her condition. Typically, generously, friends and neighbours have rallied around but a more structured, permanent care network is needed. June has no savings and her income is divided between paying for minimal care for herself and providing a mentor/monitor and cleaner for her son.
We would welcome any advice that you could offer that might provide a way forward to enable us to access financial support and provide her with something like the level of care she needs.
Currently June claims Housing Benefit for the property which brings in £400 pcm and for which she pays tax as unearned income as well as maintaining the property  and garden.  Letting the house to a private individual would generate £800pcm, but June thought she was doing the right thing by providing for her vulnerable son.   The financial assessment officer agreed that buying the property and saving the state thousands of pounds was 'a stupid thing to do,' and that June is in fact being penalised for providing for her son.   
Should she gift the house to her son now?  Is  there any way that she can become eligible for financial support for her own care?  
Many thanks for reading.

Comments

  • poppy12345
    poppy12345 Posts: 18,086 Forumite
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    edited 15 November 2020 at 3:10PM
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    She can't "gift" the house to her son because this will be classed as deprivation of capital. I'm confused about the "housing benefit part" Which house does she claiming housing benefit for? Sorry but i read that she own 2 houses, one which she lives in and the other that her son lives in, so where does the housing benefit come into this?
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,112 Forumite
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    Was she in a union? They may be able to assist, either with a hardship Grant, or with advice / advocacy.

    If she took professional advice before buying her son's house, I'd say she was poorly advised. However it sounds unlikely she'd have time or energy to pursue that angle.
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  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 14,748 Forumite
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    Given the sons condition. Does he not claim any benefits so he could release the money that the mother is paying to him, to pay towards her care?
    Life in the slow lane
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