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12 week rule, top ups and capacity

ValeriaWatt

Registered User
Sep 29, 2015
2
Hello everyone. Newbie here.

We thought we had financing mum's care home sorted out but a recent conversation with a social worker has me a little confused.

My 85 year old mum went into a care home a couple of weeks ago on a trial basis. She owns her own home (apart from a small proportion my brother owns via a deed of trust) and has approximately £8,000 in savings.

We realise she will be self funding but thought we could at least take advantage of the 12 week disregard. The social worker who carried out mum's needs assessment however says that mum does not have capacity to agree to the top up fee for the 12 weeks and therefore the options we have are:

1. The 12 week disregard applies with a third party top up. After this a deferred payment agreement is entered into, again with a third party top up.

2. We fund everything ourselves.

Does anyone have any idea about capacity and the 12 week disregard? The SW made it sound as though it was an automatic progression from the 12 week period into the DPA. I am pondering how, if mum is unable to agree to what is actually a pretty small top up, she will then be able to consent to a charge being placed on her property. We are currently awaiting registration of PoAs if that makes a difference.

Thank you for reading this.

Valeria12
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Your social worker is, umm misinformed.

You have several issues here though. You mention a "trial basis". If this is considered a temporary placement then the LA do not have to do a financial assessment for 8 weeks: they can basically say - you owe this. The 12 week disregard only applies when there is a a permanent placement. Say, though, it is a permanent placement: then the 12 week disregard becomes possible. Do bear in mind that this is just a disregard of the property: the LA will pay their assessed rate for your mother's needs, she will hand over the majority of her pension, then if there's shortfall AND that's down to you choosing a home that doesn't accept the LA rate that's when a top-up comes into it. But the LA must provide you with the option of a suitable home that meets your mother's needs that does not require a top-up.

Capacity? Rubbish frankly. The vast majority of people entering a home don't have capacity and those that are eligible get the 12 week disregard.

I'm irritated, frankly, by this whole top-up issue. Why should there be a top-up? The truth is, a fair number of social workers seem to have little idea about how funding works. But equally, I suspect you may be in a "black hole" because this is considered a temporary placement. Personally, I'd go into this saying it was a permanent placement (this doesn't commit you to anything, but requires a financial assessment of your mother's ability to pay). Then ask for a financial assessment (which should not be carried out by the social worker).
 

Pete R

Registered User
Jul 26, 2014
2,038
Staffs
The social worker who carried out mum's needs assessment however says that mum does not have capacity to agree to the top up fee for the 12 weeks and therefore the options we have are:
Hi Valerie and welcome,

Unfortunately I have found that SW's do not have a full grasp of things they really should and it is certainly not in their remit to decide such things. Ask for the financial assessment and the Finance Officer will give you the correct information.

As soon as the placement is permanent then a 12 week disregard is applied. A first party top up can be made during this time but it is at the discretion of the LA and must come from disregarded sources.

:)
 

2jays

Registered User
Jun 4, 2010
11,598
West Midlands
You say your brother owns a small proportion of the house through deed of trust

He owns that portion. He should not be asked to sell that portion. In my opinion, he should Not under any circumstances sell or give up that portion.

Therefore you need to get a valuation of the property as to how much it's worth. I think you will find the property is nearly valueless. As who would want to purchase a property that someone else owns a small portion of? therefore in my opinion, you mum should be financed and not self funding

As to top ups : the best home for a person needs to be paid for. If the cheaper home doesn't fulfil all needs, if the home that meets all needs is more expensive, that's not your problem to pay. Top ups, again in my opinion, should only be asked for if you want a sea view or anything "extra" above best needs caring.

You have to harden your heart when it comes to money and social services otherwise they will walk over you and could give you, shall we say, biased towards themselves information and not best interests towards the person needing care.... In my opinion.

xx


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Pete R

Registered User
Jul 26, 2014
2,038
Staffs
You say your brother owns a small proportion of the house through deed of trust

He owns that portion. He should not be asked to sell that portion. In my opinion, he should Not under any circumstances sell or give up that portion.

Therefore you need to get a valuation of the property as to how much it's worth. I think you will find the property is nearly valueless. As who would want to purchase a property that someone else owns a small portion of? therefore in my opinion, you mum should be financed and not self funding
2Jays, The New Care Act has changed things somewhat and it appears a valuation of a share can be included in a FA. New case law will have to determine things but it appears the change is to prevent what used to be the case under crag.

Also if a share is held in trust and it is just for the monetary value, and not so the owner to live in it, the LA can apply to the courts to force a sale. That has always been the case even under crag.

And if the family do need a DPA then all owners need to agree that it can be sold to settle any debt.
 

2jays

Registered User
Jun 4, 2010
11,598
West Midlands
I apologise. I haven't read the new care act fully. Memo to self - know your advice fully before sharing it :)


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ValeriaWatt

Registered User
Sep 29, 2015
2
Thank you all for your replies.

Financial assessment arranged for this week so we'll see what the LA have to say.

Valeria