My husband and I have not lived together for over 10 years, our finances are separate, we've never bothered to get a divorce, no need to pay lawyers. We have always remained friends and I visit often.
Our daughter chose to live with her Dad so she could stay at her school when I moved 250 miles away.
When she finished uni, the council were told she had finished full time education and for some months she lived with her brother while trying to get a job in her uni town. No luck, so she returned to London. The more she was with her Dad, the more she felt he was very forgetful, on a visit I noticed too and we took him to the doctor and after many tests, he was diagnosed with vascular dementia, he has many other health problems too, is an amputee, in a wheelchair and suffered many strokes.
Our daughter remained with him, just working part time for two years or so and then, last year I was so worried about her depression from living with her Dad, I insisted she live with me to have a break. We were visiting him roughly 1 week in 4 -6 and our son visited for a night when possible, so our daughter has not lived with him for almost a year.
He didn't want to move from his home and live with me, so we found a lovely sheltered housing place nearby so he was familiar with the area and could retain his friends, very important for someone with dementia, not to have big changes.
Five year waiting list - BUT if he was on the council housing list he would likely be in within 6 months. Despite being in agony awaiting surgery, the council refused an appointment, he and my daughter had to wait 6 hours in a council office and his situation explained. He seemed to fit the criteria, mental and physical health problems, but no, he had a home so wouldn't qualify to go on the housing list -even though he cannot afford the rent and they won't pay it!!
He is incapable of moving or arranging anything because he has dementia and private landlords don't have facilities for people with dementia and need disabled living access for wheelchairs.
For some years, we (his family, me, our daughter and son) have all chipped in to top up the rent for him so he wouldn't need to leave his home. When the Govt cut rent, we chipped in even more.
Probably due to the attempt to have him put on the council housing list, he was sent a new massive form, which of course he could not complete. All his benefits were stopped so that our son had to put £2,000 to pay all the bills while the situation was resolved and he proved that he was disabled and entitled to benefits (can you grow a limb??). Our son wrote three times via registered post and they kept losing the letters, but eventually his benefits were reinstated and the letter clearly said that our daughter was a non dependent.
Suddenly the council kept sending letters asking for information about our daughter, despite her never having claimed a penny in carers allowance nor unemployment benefit (I have kept her when necessary, she never wanted to enter the hideous benefits system), it eventually transpired that they believe she has been living free with her father since Unit and should have paid rent!
She filled in forms several times saying when she worked and how much she earned when she worked and now they are demanding a complete breakdown of every penny she has had for 4 years and if she doesn't give that, his housing benefit will not be reinstated at all.
We are in a terrible quandry. When she worked part time, she paid for all the food and some of the rent (the family paid the difference), all his benefits went on the rent which is high. When she lived with me or was unemployed, we all chipped in to pay the difference.
We are afraid to say we have been paying the difference in case they say he has had extra income. Are family allowed to help? Our daughter, who has never claimed a penny in benefits and has contributed to the rent the council do not pay and has paid her own portion of the council tax and has clearly never been listed as a dependent since she left Uni, is being pursued.
Can they demand that she pays more of the rent when she has never been claimed for?
Can they say he has been receiving extra income if we say we have been paying the rent over and above the benefit given?
What a mess. We are trying to help and deal with things during visits. He doesn't have a social worker and when I tried to get one, they said social workers don't help with finances, so who does for someone so vulnerable?
This sounds complex, I hope someone can offer some advice, you can probably tell that I am very stressed about it.