Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Lil frazzle
    • By Lil frazzle 10th Feb 19, 8:30 AM
    • 16Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Lil frazzle
    Elderly parent with savings
    • #1
    • 10th Feb 19, 8:30 AM
    Elderly parent with savings 10th Feb 19 at 8:30 AM
    My dad who I have been estranged from for many years recently got quite ill and went to a nursing home. He is 78.

    I came on board after being contacted by his social workers and tried to get his house back to normal as it was in a terrible state, for him to return home with a care package.
    It has now recently came to light that over the past few years his benefit money has been building up in his bank account to a tune of around £70’000.
    I was bringing him his post and before I knew this helped him fill in a routine form which he signed and on it he stated he had no savings.

    This man is very denial about having any money. And is very non compliant about pretty much everything.

    So apparently his social worker declared he would be self funding due to savings being too high. And the benefits office now want to know how much savings he has. Again he says that he has none which is obviously not true.

    The benefits have wrote to me too ask this. How do I get him to agree a total of his savings, or should I tell them and is that even legal. He is deemed fully capable of making decisions.
    Will I get into trouble for helping him fill in the form as I had no knowledge of savings.
    And how do we pay it all back?
    Also if he pays it all back he wouldn’t have been liable for self funding so should he challenge this to get state funding.
Page 1
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 10th Feb 19, 9:04 AM
    • 12,279 Posts
    • 14,098 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    • #2
    • 10th Feb 19, 9:04 AM
    • #2
    • 10th Feb 19, 9:04 AM
    Do you know what benefits your dad is receiving?

    If it is Pension Credit then he may have an income assessed period during which he did not have to report any changes in savings. His PC award letter should tell you whether he has one or not.

    https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/assessed-income-period

    To be honest, I am very surprised that Pension Credit has asked you for this information if you are not his appointee, or have lasting power of attorney and he is mentally capable of making his own decisions.

    My personal feelings are that you should write to PC and tell them that you are not your dad's appointee/have lasting power of attorney and he has mental capacity so you have no authority to give them any financial information.

    Once you know whether there is an assessed income period you could try to speak to your dad but if he is not co-operative then I feel you should leave well alone.
    • Cheeky_Monkey
    • By Cheeky_Monkey 10th Feb 19, 9:42 AM
    • 1,942 Posts
    • 4,313 Thanks
    Cheeky_Monkey
    • #3
    • 10th Feb 19, 9:42 AM
    • #3
    • 10th Feb 19, 9:42 AM
    How did you and his social worker find out about his £70k savings?

    You might want to persuade him to be more compliant before he is potentially prosecuted for benefit fraud!
    • Lil frazzle
    • By Lil frazzle 10th Feb 19, 10:14 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Lil frazzle
    • #4
    • 10th Feb 19, 10:14 AM
    • #4
    • 10th Feb 19, 10:14 AM
    Not entirely sure how the social worker knew. And I found out recently from his social worker. As I queried the self funding.

    I filled the form in with his answers as he can’t write and I got him to sign it. But I added a note that he was in a home and that I had filled it out for him so I guess that is why they’re asking me.

    Re benefits he is on dla, housing benefit and a state pension and there was something else but I can’t remember. So I would assume all of them should have stopped at some stage or something?

    Thanks for the advice re telling them that I am not his appointee etc and that he is of sound mind as that never crossed my mind. I’d say he knew what he was doing and that it been going on a while and all I can do is advise him to rectify it.

    I don’t think he would get prosecuted as he is completely bed bound now.
    • KatrinaWaves
    • By KatrinaWaves 10th Feb 19, 10:32 AM
    • 521 Posts
    • 905 Thanks
    KatrinaWaves
    • #5
    • 10th Feb 19, 10:32 AM
    • #5
    • 10th Feb 19, 10:32 AM
    If he is ONLY on the benefits you describe above them the only overpayment will be from housing benefit. Neither DLA nor his SP would be changed my savings.

    I am going to assume along with HB he may have got help to cover his council tax from the council too, which will have also been overpaid, so that alongside rent costs could be significant.
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 10th Feb 19, 10:40 AM
    • 12,279 Posts
    • 14,098 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    • #6
    • 10th Feb 19, 10:40 AM
    • #6
    • 10th Feb 19, 10:40 AM
    It is very difficult to advise without knowing exactly which benefits he is on.

    As I said if he was on Pension Credit then he may have had an assessed income period where he didn't have to notify them of a change of circumstances. If this was the case then then he would still have been automatically entitled to housing benefit. His DLA is not means tested but is affected when you go into a care home.

    Since you did not know that he had the savings when you completed the form for him then you have done nothing wrong.

    However, now you know which makes things difficult.

    Although I do not think you have any legal duty to report his savings there is the moral issue.

    How would you feel about telling the authorities that he has these savings?

    I do not know whether social services would be legally bound to report their findings of these savings. Does anyone know?

    If your dad is not protected by an assessed income period then he would have to pay back any monies owing.

    What would then happen as regards paying for his care I do not know. Someone else wrote, I believe, on another thread, that social services said that paying back a debt would not be allowed?????

    Could you speak to the social worker?

    Sorry I cannot be of more help. Hopefully others will comment.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 10th Feb 19, 11:08 AM
    • 2,159 Posts
    • 1,450 Thanks
    calcotti
    • #7
    • 10th Feb 19, 11:08 AM
    • #7
    • 10th Feb 19, 11:08 AM
    I filled the form in with his answers as he canít write and I got him to sign it. But I added a note that he was in a home and that I had filled it out for him so I guess that is why theyíre asking me.
    Originally posted by Lil frazzle
    That doesn't make you responsible. You have simply acted as a scribe, the information on the form is as supplied by your father and confirmed by him by means of his signature.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 10th Feb 19, 11:18 AM
    • 2,956 Posts
    • 3,449 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    • #8
    • 10th Feb 19, 11:18 AM
    • #8
    • 10th Feb 19, 11:18 AM
    If he is ONLY on the benefits you describe above them the only overpayment will be from housing benefit. Neither DLA nor his SP would be changed my savings.
    Originally posted by KatrinaWaves
    However, if he remains in a nursing home for more than 28 days then he will be no longer eligible for the DLA care element. The DLA mobility component will also stop if he is receiving nursing care.
    It is the claimant's responsibility to notify the DWP of these circumstances.

    http://www.rights4seniors.net/content/after-28-days
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
    • Lil frazzle
    • By Lil frazzle 10th Feb 19, 1:12 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Lil frazzle
    • #9
    • 10th Feb 19, 1:12 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Feb 19, 1:12 PM
    Ok so I found out the benefits and they are attendance allowance income support and pension. He is in as temporary care so apparently he would have been allowed his aa as he is self funding and also income support for 52 weeks. But of course this would only be true re the income support if he didn’t have loads of savings.
    So it is obvious he shouldn’t have been claiming income support housing benefit or whatever else. So how far back do they look as this may have been going on a while. I simply don’t know as I said earlier I was estranged.
    Realistically I should just ring and tell them it’s nothing to do with me and I have no power of attorney. But part of me wants to try and help.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 10th Feb 19, 1:18 PM
    • 18,792 Posts
    • 47,653 Thanks
    elsien
    Pass the information on to the social worker and let them sort it out.
    They need to know because if he's assessed as self funding then has to pay back a load of overpaid benefits that couid leave him in difficulties.
    They can also carry out a financial capacity assessment if there is any doubt.
    With regards to power of attorney and presuming he has capacity obviously your dad wouid have to agree that he wants one, decide who he wants to act for him and agree to pay for it. Are any of these likely?
    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.
    • Lil frazzle
    • By Lil frazzle 10th Feb 19, 1:23 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Lil frazzle
    I doubt he would agree to anything at all. He really is a very difficult individual. When I asked did he have any savings he got nasty and said he has no money and only gets invalidity and old age benefit (his words). When I said “you must have savings if they are making you self fund” he said he wasn’t paying anything because he has no money.

    But yes I will get the social worker to take over as when the over paid is sorted out. I have no idea how we will get him to pay it back as he would refuse. Maybe they can just take it back?
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 10th Feb 19, 1:25 PM
    • 2,956 Posts
    • 3,449 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    Unlikely to be Income Support. See eligibility here:
    https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/eligibility-income-support

    Is it State Pension (SP) and Pension Credit, or just SP.

    If self funding the AA can continue, but your father should notify AA of this circumstance.

    "Realistically I should just ring and tell them it’s nothing to do with me and I have no power of attorney
    Agreed, you don't necessarily have the full picture as not an appointee, and could give the DWP incorrect info. In any case DWP may have breached GDPR and privacy guidelines by asking you for information about your father's benefits and financial situation. Has your father given the DWP written authority for you to speak to them?
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 10-02-2019 at 4:40 PM.
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 10th Feb 19, 4:23 PM
    • 6,256 Posts
    • 6,946 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    I agree that the OP should take several steps back from the situation, and do it quickly before Social Services decide the OP is responsible for everything. The lack of contact with the father over the years means they can't have full knowledge of his situation. They could also get embroiled in spurious claims from the father if he is a difficult as seems to be the case.
    • Gold_Shogun
    • By Gold_Shogun 10th Feb 19, 9:42 PM
    • 236 Posts
    • 213 Thanks
    Gold_Shogun
    Will I get into trouble for helping him fill in the form as I had no knowledge of savings.
    Originally posted by Lil frazzle
    One of the Primary Legal Principles of Benefit Law is that :- "A person cannot 'Fail To Disclose' something which he/she is not aware of"
    Consequently, you personally should be OK provided your Dad had never told you or made you aware of those savings at the time you "enscribed" the form for him due to his inability to write himself.


    I filled the form in with his answers as he can’t write and I got him to sign it. But I added a note that he was in a home and that I had filled it out for him so I guess that is why they’re asking me.

    Thanks for the advice re telling them that I am not his appointee etc and that he is of sound mind as that never crossed my mind.
    Originally posted by Lil frazzle
    Presumably ... (a) He told you the answers to write AND you read the answers back to him OR he read the form before he signed it. ... and (b) at no time have you claimed or signed that you were his appointee or official Trustee/Representive for his affairs/savings.

    In which case, your Legal Position in assisting him to write out HIS form is merely that of a "Scribe", and you would NOT be personally liable ... BUT don't be surprised IF any Authorities (DWP / Council / Police / Etc) try to "twist or trick" you into making some kind of (innocently made) comment or statement which could be falsely used or misquoted against you (OR your Dad), so ALWAYS think carefully about anything you may say/state in the future.


    PMLINDYLOO's advice to you is very sound, as is all the general advice from various posters about NOT routinely allowing Social Services to become your Dad's Appointee (unless there are special circumstances for it).
    Last edited by Gold_Shogun; 10-02-2019 at 9:51 PM. Reason: typo
    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
    Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

    - Benjamin Franklin
    • Gold_Shogun
    • By Gold_Shogun 10th Feb 19, 9:49 PM
    • 236 Posts
    • 213 Thanks
    Gold_Shogun
    I agree that the OP should take several steps back from the situation, and do it quickly before Social Services decide the OP is responsible for everything. The lack of contact with the father over the years means they can't have full knowledge of his situation. They could also get embroiled in spurious claims from the father if he is a difficult as seems to be the case.
    Originally posted by TELLIT01
    Unfortunately ... VERY true !

    The OP definitely needs to protect himself, especially if he wishes to continue helping his Dad (where possible) in the future.
    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
    Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

    - Benjamin Franklin
    • Lil frazzle
    • By Lil frazzle 11th Feb 19, 9:41 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Lil frazzle
    Ok so have spoke to loads of people today and he’s always been in receipt of guaranteed pension. So was entitled to full housing benefit and they don’t think his savings would matter?
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 11th Feb 19, 9:50 AM
    • 12,279 Posts
    • 14,098 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    Ok so have spoke to loads of people today and heís always been in receipt of guaranteed pension. So was entitled to full housing benefit and they donít think his savings would matter?
    Originally posted by Lil frazzle
    Guarantee Pension Credit is a means tested benefit and, in you case, topped up his state pension to the amount that the government says he needs to live on.

    Yes, it does give automatic entitlement to Housing Benefit and Council Tax (up to his personal circumstances - a one bed local housing allowance).

    BUT, savings are taken into account. They reduce the Pension Credit 'top up' at the rate of £1 for every £500 over £10000.

    If his savings means that he gets no Guarantee Pension Credit then he would lose his housing benefit and council tax reduction (he would retain the 25% discount for living alone for CT)

    As previously said, he MAY have had an income assessed period when he went on Pension Credit which meant that he did not have to declare any change in his savings.

    You need to find out if he had this by looking at his Pension Credit award letter.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 11th Feb 19, 9:55 AM
    • 2,159 Posts
    • 1,450 Thanks
    calcotti
    Ok so have spoke to loads of people today and he’s always been in receipt of guaranteed pension. So was entitled to full housing benefit and they don’t think his savings would matter?
    Originally posted by Lil frazzle
    Yes and no. If he was eligible for guarantee Pension Credit it is true that he would automatically be entitled to full housing benefit and savings limit would not apply.

    However in calculating entitlement to Pension Credit generally the savings have to be taken into account. If this is the case the first £10,000 are ignored by a deduction of £1 is made for every £500 above £10,000. Therefore savings of £70,000 would result in a deduction of £120 from the maximum Pension Credit entitlement. If his Pension Credit has been more than this then he will still have been entitled and the Housing Benefit will be OK. If Pension Credit has been below this he was not entitled to Pension Credit and probably not to Housing Benefit.

    Either way, in these circumstances, there would have been an overpayment of Pension Credit because the savings over £10,000 should have been taken into account.

    However if he has an Assessed Income Period which has not expired, as previously referred to by pmlindyloo, he will be OK as in that case he would not have needed to report any changes to his savings and he would be entitled to keep his initial award without change.

    EDIT - I see pmlindyloo has posted similar advice while I was typing!
    Last edited by calcotti; 11-02-2019 at 9:56 AM. Reason: Additional note added
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 11th Feb 19, 11:09 AM
    • 6,256 Posts
    • 6,946 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    Managing to accumulate £70k simply from not spending benefits seems a lot, unless he has been on benefits for a very long time. If it really is from saving his benefits, it would seem he is another 'victim' of the system.

    I know it is how the system works, but it seems nonsensical that people are being penalised for actually living on less than the Government deems essential.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

55Posts Today

1,004Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Have a great Easter, or a chag sameach to those like me attending Passover seder tomorrow. I?m taking all of next? https://t.co/qrAFTIpqWl

  • RT @rowlyc1980: A whopping 18 days off work for only 9 days leave! I?ll have a bit of that please......thanks @MartinSLewis for your crafty?

  • RT @dinokyp: That feeling when you realise that you have 18 days of work and only used 9 days of your annual leave! Thanks @MartinSLewis h?

  • Follow Martin