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Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by HarrietD, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. HarrietD

    HarrietD Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 29, 2014
    5,048
    London
    Expert Q&A discussion.jpg

    Benefits can help people such as those living on low incomes, those who have disability needs, or people who are caring for someone.

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.


    Don’t think you’ll be able to make it? Feel free to post your question on this thread, or if you prefer you can send your question to talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we’ll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

    We hope to see you here next Wednesday :)

    NB: Please note that the answers given by Lauren are intended as general guidance only. It's usually best to get a benefits check from a benefits adviser in your area.
     
  2. ebas

    ebas Registered User

    Aug 8, 2019
    25
    My OH.living at home needs to be assessed by social services.He has about £5000 in the bank and a share in a holiday home in Spain which we are trying to sell.It is worth about£25000.I am hoping he will be able to get some respite care next year as I need a break.Will be have to use all of the £5000 until the property is sold?
     
  3. Ma May

    Ma May Registered User

    Sep 14, 2018
    21
    Female
    Bournemouth, Dorset
    Please could you advise what happens to the PIP and Universal credit payments when my OH goes into nursing home? I rely on them to make up mortgage and bills each month. Also do,you know if they would put a note on the deeds of the house saying I had to pay OH share of house sale if I moved after he had passed on? We have no savings. Just the house in joint names.
     
  4. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    2,518
    Can the SERPS criteria be explained
    100% can be inherite. (50% after 1997 when rules changed for new to the scheme)
    50% can be claim as a pension share on divorce.
    The council takes the whole amount thus shattering the reason that the scheme was taken out,
    Which was to provide a secure income for both in retirement.
    Older people are affected because married women had less right to build up their own provision.
    Eventually the the law changed but too late for many woman married in 50/60s.
     
  5. Happy days47

    Happy days47 New member

    Oct 21, 2019
    6
    Hi, we are wanting to rent mums house to make up her care fees, will her attendance allowance be affected? And Could she also be taxed?
    Thank you
     
  6. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,089
    Yorkshire
    hi
    are there other benefits, apart from Carer's Allowance, available to a carer who isn't working and doesn't live with the person they care for
    eg I have read about Council Tax being reduced by 25%, even with the single occupancy reduction ie total reduction of 50% .... but didn't see anything about this on my LA's website
     
  7. Starting on a journey

    Starting on a journey Registered User

    Jul 9, 2019
    51
    I have one property other than which I live in which was bought as an investment and rented out. I am responsible for maintenance and repairs. Does the income I receive affect eligibility for carers allowance.
    Thanks
     
  8. harry100

    harry100 New member

    Apr 5, 2018
    7
    Hi

    Can we receive a council tax reduction we live in Scotland. FIL aged 85 with Alzheimer's moved in with us March 2018. Husband under 65 stopped work to look after him he receives carer's allowance and FIL's attendance allowance . I am the sole earner with not a high salary and still a mortage to pay. When contacting LA they said if our savings were over £16000 we couldn't is this correct? .
     
  9. HarrietD

    HarrietD Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 29, 2014
    5,048
    London
    Hi everyone, and welcome to today's expert Q&A on the topic of benefits. Answering your questions today is Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. Over to you, @LaurenP!
     
  10. LaurenP

    LaurenP Registered User

    Sep 4, 2019
    12
    Hi everyone and thank you for sending your questions.

    I'll respond to the questions from the top of the thread now...
     
  11. LaurenP

    LaurenP Registered User

    Sep 4, 2019
    12
    Any capital, savings or assets, would normally be added together to assess if the person has over £23,250. If someone is assessed as having over £23,250 once everything is added together they would normally be expected to fully fund their care fees.
    The value of a share in a property abroad is described in the ‘Assets held abroad’ section of the Care and Statutory Support Guidance. It states that the Local Authority ‘Should take into account the value that a willing buyer would pay in the UK for those assets, but be aware that it may be less than the market or surrender value in the foreign country.’ Therefore, the value may not be assessed the amount you initially thought.
    I would advise you and/or your OH speak to your Local Authority to discuss your OH’s circumstances and financial assessment. They should be able to provide or signpost to appropriate information and advice under S4 of the Care Act.
    You may also wish to consider asking your Local Authority for a Carer’s Assessment if you feel you need a break. You can find more information about respite care in England on our factsheet here.
     
  12. LaurenP

    LaurenP Registered User

    Sep 4, 2019
    12
    Unfortunately this is not as simple as a yes or no answer, there are a few variables.
    Regarding Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - This depends on which component he is receiving (daily living or mobility), whether he enters a care home or nursing home and whether he is self-funding his care home fees or the Local Authority or NHS is contributing towards them.
    If he is receiving the daily living/care component of PIP and he is fully funding his own care fees, he should be able to continue claiming PIP but this would be in order to contribute towards his care fees.
    If he is receiving the daily living/care component of PIP and the LA is contributing towards his care fees, PIP would usually stop after 28 days.
    If he is receiving the mobility component of PIP, this would normally continue if he enters a care home but not if he enters a nursing home.

    If your OH enters a care home or nursing home permanently, you would both need to have a separate benefit check as you will normally then be treated as individual claimants. Any benefits your OH continued to be entitled to (depending on the funding arrangements) would be expected to contribute to his care costs.
    This is why it is important you have your own benefits check as a single claimant as his benefits money would not normally be ‘passed back’ to you to pay household bills. If your OH is in receipt of any occupational pensions however, 50% may be ‘passed’ on to you to help run the home but be mindful this would then be included in your own benefits calculation.
    You can find out more information on benefits in our factsheet 'Benefits for people affected by dementia'
    Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Turn2us and Age UK usually offer benefits checks, contact your local branch or visit their website for more information.
    You can also contact the Department for Work and Pensions to discuss further or report any changes in circumstances.

    I cannot give detailed information or legal advice regarding property. As a general guide, for as long as you or a qualifying person are living in the property and meeting the eligibility criteria for a mandatory property disregard (see section 34 of the Care and Statutory Support Guidance) the value of your OH’s share in the home would be disregarded from the financial assessment to pay for care.
    If you moved house before he died, you should liaise with the Local Authority regarding your plans to check that the disregard would continue to be applied on your next property or whether it would open up some of his share of the savings to be used for care fees. There is some information and examples of this is the above guidance.
    The Local Authority should not contact you to reclaim care home fees after he has died if the property had been disregarded from the financial assessment during his life.
    The law on property and paying for care is complicated, detailed and there are exceptions to the normal rules. You can find more information in the Care and Statutory Support Guidance, on our 'Paying for care and support in England' factsheet or by contacting a Solicitor or Financial Adviser.
     
  13. LaurenP

    LaurenP Registered User

    Sep 4, 2019
    12
    SERPS is an abbreviation of the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme. It is sometimes known as the additional state pension. SERPS ceased running on in April 2002 and has now been replaced with the Second State Pension scheme.
    You can find out more information on eligibility here - https://www.gov.uk/additional-state-pension
    If you wish to discuss any pension related matters further you can also visit the Pension Advisory Service for more information or call their helpline on 0800 011 3797
     
  14. LaurenP

    LaurenP Registered User

    Sep 4, 2019
    12
    Attendance Allowance is tax free and is not means tested. The award will not be affected by rental income being received.
    Regarding renting out the property you should be aware that income from rent may be taxable and there may be other expenses to consider, such as letting and management costs, insurances, maintenance and income loss when the property is not let. You may wish to discuss your options with the Local Authority who under S4 of the Care Act should be able to provide or signpost to appropriate information and advice. You will also need to ensure that you have the legal power to rent out your mum’s property on her behalf, such as Lasting Power of Attorney or Deputyship. You can contact the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) on 0300 456 0300 to discuss.
     
  15. LaurenP

    LaurenP Registered User

    Sep 4, 2019
    12
    Depending on your circumstances you may be able to claim Universal credit. Your award would be reduced by the amount of your Carer’s Allowance, however a ‘carer amount’ should be included in your award.
    The best thing to do would be to have a benefits check – Age UK, Turn2us and Citizens Advice Bureau often offer them. That way they can look at your individual circumstances.

    Regarding council tax, there are some disregards for carer’s but they are mostly for carer’s who are resident in the same property as the person they care for. You can see our Council Tax factsheet for more on disregards or speak to your local council about any other reduction available to you.
     
  16. LaurenP

    LaurenP Registered User

    Sep 4, 2019
    12
    It would depend if they class the income from the property as ‘Earnings’. If they class the income as earnings, then you can only ‘earn’ up to £123 per week after any necessary deductions.
    People rent out properties in various capacities. For some it is a small domestic arrangement and for others in can be a business. The decision maker will look at each case individually. To get some more information you could contact the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 08007310297 and ask for more information. They may be able to share some guidance with you from their decision maker’s guide on the subject.
     
  17. LaurenP

    LaurenP Registered User

    Sep 4, 2019
    12
    Apologies, I don’t cover Scotland and I am not familiar with their rules.
    You should contact Alzheimer’s Scotland or call their helpline on 0808 808 3000
     
  18. Helens2904

    Helens2904 New member

    Nov 12, 2017
    2
    Female
    Colchester, Essex
    Hi Lauren,
    We are currently paying privately for our mother’s care home (she’s only 63, so gets PIP, Income-related ESA which is reduced due to her receiving a small monthly private pension which was given early due to ill health, the rest is topped up by my brother and I). As he savings are now down to under £5k we are going to struggle to pay for the care moving forward. Would social care still class her property as capital even though she is renting it to raise funds to pay for care? And would she be eligible to pay the care home fees through social care (as they are about £200 per week cheaper for the same care)?
     
  19. HarrietD

    HarrietD Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 29, 2014
    5,048
    London
    This is a question that came through via email:

    Hi,

    I wanted to ask about benefits and other pots of money that may be available to my father.

    My father currently resides in a care home with no top-up fees, and we pay out from his monthly earnings. There is no house sale or savings so we're pretty much at the bottom rung of the financial ladder. We do OK, though, and I buy whatever he needs (clothing, toiletries, treats, furnishings for his room etc) whenever he needs it. We are very lucky to be honest and we're just thankful he is somewhere safe that is also very close by so we can visit him daily.

    I have made friends with other families in the same care home and they have mentioned small pots of money that you can apply for to help with expenses and other things. Do you recommend a meeting with the CAB or know of a site that I could access to get some more information? We're not in dire straits by any means and I half expect there is nothing we can access but it has got us thinking and we've started doing some research on what additional support may be available to us.
     
  20. LaurenP

    LaurenP Registered User

    Sep 4, 2019
    12
    I’m glad to hear you have found somewhere safe for your father which you can visit regularly.
    Some benefits are needs based and means tested (means based means eligibility may depend on income and savings) and some are solely based on need.
    An example of this is Attendance Allowance which you can claim regardless of high income or lots of savings as long as you meet the eligibility and ‘needs’ based criteria. If someone is self-funding their care in a residential home, they can usually continue to claim Attendance Allowance to help contribute towards their fees. You can find out more about the range of benefits in our 'Benefits for people affected by dementia' factsheet.

    However, the rules around benefits can get really complicated to work out for yourself and your suggestion of visiting CAB (or another organisation that can complete a benefits check) is a really good idea. They can look at your individual circumstances and may be able to help with the application forms, which can sometimes put people off. If you can’t make it into somewhere for a benefits check, Turn2us do have a benefits calculator on their website along with other information. However, face to face with someone familiar with benefits would be the best option where possible.
     
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