Care Home Fees and Social Services

Try to keep it simple -Mum is now in care early days - they have to find her another permanent place - she cannot get CHC funding   So Social Services will do finance assessment     I am daughter live in our home for 40 years- I do have LPA on health and finance    The Mandatory Disregard rule as I do not want to be chucked out of our home ( mum cannot pay for care in any way)  -- can they over ride this?  Low savings no large pension for mum .      Also Can they try to push a Deferred Payment Agreement on me?  Lastly  I am considering trying to get legal advice as to be honest i do not trust I will get treated fairly obviously they want their money and they have to make my relative the priority which I totally get.  This is awfully traumatic --any viable links that you are allowed to post welcome and anyone been in this situation where they live in the home and their relative is quite poor apart from the property?  I have been here as I say 40 years !   thanks  in advance


  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Posts: 34,667 Forumite
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    This may be helpful:
    Care and support for the elderly | Age UK

    It says:

    Will my home have to be included in the means test?

    In some situations, your home won't be taken into account in the means test. There are a few circumstances where this applies:

    If you need short-term or temporary care in a care home, your home won't be in the means test.

    If your care home is permanent, it won't be counted if it's still occupied by:

    • your partner or former partner, unless they are estranged from you
    • your estranged or divorced partner IF they are also a lone parent
    • a relative who is aged 60 or over
    • a relative who is disabled
    • a child of yours aged under 18

  • lisyloo
    lisyloo Posts: 29,609 Forumite
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    Can you tell us your age and which council it is.
  • age 64                   kent   county council        why does it matter what council surely a rule is a rule thank you
  • lisyloo
    lisyloo Posts: 29,609 Forumite
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    Discretionary rules can be different depending on the local authority.

    your rights are protected in law under the care act. 
    Because you are over 60 the property is disregarded.
    they will take her income minus £25 that she is allowed to keep for personal costs e.g. clothing, transport, toiletries.
    Yes I’ve been in that situation and they will try to push for a relative to “top up” the fees, but They cannot force anyone to pay.

    its worth checking the home insurance to see if there is free legal advice available.

    you could ask the local authority for a list of homes that take Local authority funded clients without a top up. You might find these are not the best, but you may have a choice and be able to put her name down on a list (sorry to say but places become available all the time).
    we had to argue strongly for the one we wanted. It was over their budget but the other homes did not meet my MILs needs so we argued strongly and went to “panel”.
    the local authority  pushed at every opportunity for someone in the family to top up but we said no and we won at the panel to get a better and higher cost home but it took a lot of strong argument.

    sorry, but the truth is that local authority provision in my area is  quite a poor standard.
    but they cannot force anyone else to pay and they cannot take the house.

  • Thank you very much for your advice --I  have been also doing research  they probably rely on many people being completely ignorant of what they can and cannot be forced into-- I will be firm -- I am having to phone and keep on at them the communications are dreadful and not joined up.  Certainly I cannot top up, I want to stay in my home and do not yet have a state pension to help me out.  I will check on the home insurance to as you suggset its with ageuk.  thanks again
  • lisyloo
    lisyloo Posts: 29,609 Forumite
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    edited 13 October 2022 at 7:50AM
    Age uk insurance (ageco?) does have a 24 hour legal helpline
    I do find that if you demonstrate you know your rights then they with realise pretty quickly they can't pull the wool over your eyes.

    you could also phone around the local homes yourself and ask if they take local authority clients without a top up. It does take time because usually the person picking up the phone doesn't know about funding, but it’s an option if the local authority aren't being forthcoming with the information.
    Has she been assessed as needing residential care or nursing?
    My MIL was between the two and initially they said residential but that was fairly quickly changed.
    some of the homes wouldn't take her because they weren't equipped for her needs, so if she has needs such as mobility e.g. hoisting, then it would establishing quite quickly with them, so you don't waste you time visiting homes that can't take her.

    also if you haven't already you should put in for single persons discount on council tax if you are living on your own now.

    On the plus side we got both my MIL and FIL into a decent home with a lot of arguing.
    Do you have anyone to support you in this?
    Doesn't have to be someone who can attend meetings, they could help you with letters and emails.
    The local authority wanted to put my FIL in a cheaper home 15 miles away. That might not sound like very far by MIL was wheelchair bound and would have needed a wheelchair taxi and FIL was bed bound AND there was space available in the home MIL was already in.
    In the end we did get them both in the same home. He only spent 11 days there before passing away but they were able to spend some time peaceful together before the end.
    So I hope that provides some encouragement to go into battle with these people.

    we did phone/look at/visit about 20 homes in the end.

    It's really good that you have LPA set up already. I had to do COP and that was really hard work, slow and expensive.
  • thank you for your advice yes I will get the council tax reduction I think that also takes time  and everything I can save will help me.  For me is a big issue to get to see care homes -- they will want to arrange something fairly swiftly --she is in a very expensive one right now and they will want paying,   I will only pay out of mum's money  once I pay out of my own I am on a path to no where and will refuse point  blank. I have some documents regarding care homes etc and what questions to ask about what they do and do not offer to clients, S0 due to the affordablity issue mum as very little to pay for her care, she is likely to go to a lower grade one, but still be adequate --totally not what anyone wants for their loved ones of course.  Sadly if you are not wealthy you have to take more or less what is offered, for example they may only have a few to offer -- visiting is not possible if they put mum out of our area...I have to be positive and hope its at least in the same town if it isn't then I won't be able to see her so much.  
  • lisyloo
    lisyloo Posts: 29,609 Forumite
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    edited 13 October 2022 at 10:19AM
    You shouldn’t have to pay anything.
    They will take her income - that will unfortunately be pension and any benefits she gets, she will only get to keep £25
    plus any savings over a certain threshold. If she doesn’t have savings or assets and the home is disregarded then they can’t make her (or you) pay.
    you are not financially liable for her.
    does she have anything at all in terms of savings/assets? (Just wanted to check she’s below the threshold to pay).
    if she has a small amount you should keep it for hair/bingo/shopping/transport/chocolate etc. If she can’t do much those things will make a big difference and things like haircuts and nail clipping will still have to be paid for.

    yes they’ll want to move her (although it may well be cheaper than the NHS so actually the pressure might have come off a little).
    they probably moved her to somewhere expensive because it was all that was available and they were under threat of being fined by the NHS for bed blocking.
    so I suggest you (and any helpers) try to find somewhere decent ASAP otherwise she could end up somewhere less desirable.
    don’t be afraid to ask friends, relatives, family etc.
    we had 3 lots of people doing it, so engage helpers if you can who can make phone calls or visit, to rule places in an out.
    there is an element of choice even when you are LA funded, but you need to get the facts to back your arguments which you only really do by visiting after establishing they aren’t totally out of budget,

    by visiting we established that my MIL needed nursing care not residential as none of the residential places would take her. That categorisation increased the budget,

    my dad got council tax reduction recently (widower). It didn’t take very long in his case and I’d expect it to be backdated anyway.

  • lisyloo said:
    You shouldn’t have to pay anything.
    They will take her income - that will unfortunately be pension and any benefits she gets, she will only get to keep £25
    Although the OP has no obligation of paying anything, in her shoes I would seriously consider contributing some top-up, her mother is after all still providing her accommodation rent free. 
  • lisyloo
    lisyloo Posts: 29,609 Forumite
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    I agree in principle, but post #6 implies it’s not an option.
    presumably the OP now has higher share of the household bills as well? 
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