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

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  • PollycatPollycat Forumite
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    arunadasi
    sorry to hear you are having a difficult time with how the authorities regard your OH's German pension.

    Maybe your case is different to my Mum & Dad's as it is clear that Dad has occupational pensions and they are asking you to prove that the pension you say is occupational and not state pension from another country.

    I also did the calculations myself before the meeting with our County Coucil financial assessor and knew that I didn't want my Mum to have half of Dad's occupational pensions as it would just reduce the amount of Guarantee Pension Credit she'd get and increase the amount Dad would have to pay to the care home on top of the benefits they were taking.

    It was really a very quick 'no brainer' conversation and it went very much along the lines of 'Your Mum would be better off if she didn't claim half your Dad's occupational pensions'.

    A Guide I have from Counsel & Care (#16) clearly states that:
    3.4 Occupational and private pensions
    During your financial assessment, the council must ignore 50 per cent of your occupational pension as long as you use the whole of that half to support your husband or wife at home. The same rule applies if you receive income from a retirement annuity. This rule only applies to married couples and civil partnerships. If you are not married or have a civil partnership and you would like to use some of your pension to support your partner at home, you have to ask for your Personal Expenses Allowance to be increased under the discretionary rules explained in section 3.3.

    Additionally, the 'Paying for Care' leaflet I've been given from my County Council states:
    Q Am I entitled to keep any part of my income?
    AYes, certain types of income are not included in your charges, e.g. Disability Living Allowance (Mobility) or the Christmas bonus. If you are entitled to Savings Credit as part of Pension Credit, then you could be able to keep a proportion of this too. If you are temporarily in residential care we can also make an allowance for ongoing home commitments.
    You may also be able to keep part of any charitable payment or war pension you receive. Additionally, you may pass 50% of an occupational pension, personal pension or retirement annuity to your partner if they remain at home. However, if you choose not to share this type of income with your spouse, it will be taken fully into account when assessing your charge. Your Care Manager will advise you on this as in some cases, the person remaining at home might be better off not receiving part of your pension. This is because it could affect their entitlement to other benefits which may be worth more to them in the long run.

    The part in red is the 'advantageous to the spouse not going into the care home' that I referred to.

    I appreciate that you have had a very different experience and I hope that you manage to get the Council (?) to acknowledge that they are wrong.
  • jenniferniljennifernil Forumite
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    Savvy_Sue wrote: »
    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).

    Nooooo! You misunderstand! I am the wife (just had 42nd anniversary).

    He has an addition to his Norwegian State pension because he has a wife (me) to look after in their eyes. This is because I get no pension in my own right from Norway. So he has a higher pension than a single person would get based on the same contributions.
  • arunadasiarunadasi Forumite
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    Hi Pollycat!
    Yes, maybe in my case it is the exception, and right now a huge hassle I could do without, as I am myself preparing to move to Germany to be near my husband.
    Thank oyu for posting those extracts. I will quote them in my letter to ASC supporting my claim.

    Jennifernil, in Germany my husband also gets a lot more assitance than he does here. The care insurance pays EUR 1200 of his care home fees, and normally he would have to pay the rest himself (about EUR 1200) from his pension, which would leave me with just barely enough to get by. But he gets further assistance through his occupational pension; in fact, he only has to pay a total of EUR 250 toward his care home, because he has to support me. So that's why we moved to Germany!

    Care insurance, btw, is a brilliant idea. The contributions are compulsory all of your working life, about EUR 15 per month. But they pay up without a question when and if you have to go into care. They also pay for home care, depending on the degree of disability.
  • arunadasiarunadasi Forumite
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    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 would think that you can definitely claim that "extra" portion as your own income, so that they don't take all.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    Nooooo! You misunderstand! I am the wife (just had 42nd anniversary).

    He has an addition to his Norwegian State pension because he has a wife (me) to look after in their eyes. This is because I get no pension in my own right from Norway. So he has a higher pension than a single person would get based on the same contributions.
    Oh good, I'm glad we've cleared that up. But I hope you appreciate my need to be sure ...
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • PollycatPollycat Forumite
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    arunadasi wrote: »
    Hi Pollycat!
    Yes, maybe in my case it is the exception, and right now a huge hassle I could do without, as I am myself preparing to move to Germany to be near my husband.
    Thank oyu for posting those extracts. I will quote them in my letter to ASC supporting my claim.

    Just one point, the second extract I quoted was from a Derbyshire County Council's document so may not be relevant to you, but I'd try to find something similar for where you are currently located.

    Good luck with the move - and with getting this sorted out.

    ETA:
    if you want the link to the Counsel & Care document, just shout.
  • jenniferniljennifernil Forumite
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    I have read the stuff on the link arunadasi posted, but there is no specific reference to pensions paid by another country.

    Is there anywhere that gives "chapter and verse" on this?
  • jenniferniljennifernil Forumite
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    Pollycat wrote: »
    Just one point, the second extract I quoted was from a Derbyshire County Council's document so may not be relevant to you, but I'd try to find something similar for where you are currently located.

    Good luck with the move - and with getting this sorted out.

    ETA:
    if you want the link to the Counsel & Care document, just shout.


    Could you post the link please Pollycat?
  • arunadasiarunadasi Forumite
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    I have read the stuff on the link arunadasi posted, but there is no specific reference to pensions paid by another country.

    Is there anywhere that gives "chapter and verse" on this?

    I don't see why there should be any difference, Jennifernil! When I was assessed they accepted all the foreign documentation, ie payslips and everything, as "eligible" -- just that Euros were converted to £.

    And once they have accepted his pension as an "Occupational Pension" -- that is what is written on their "Explanation of how Weekly Assessed Charge has been Calculated" -- there should be no further discussion on whether the pension is British or foreign. The main point is that it is an occupational pension -- ie, paid by his former place of work, as a percentage of his last salary -- and not a State Pension.
  • PollycatPollycat Forumite
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    Re the extract in my earlier post, link to Counsel & Care Guide #16:

    http://www.counselandcare.org.uk/category/advice/pdf/care-home-fees---paying-them-in-england-guide-16

    The specific part is in Section 3.4, page 13.

    NB: this relates to fees in England, other guides available for Scotland and Wales.

    Also on the Counsel & Care website are other guides and factsheets which I've found very useful.

    You can download the pdf files or ask them to send you a copy.
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