Funding care fees when husband won't contirbute

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Sunflower2018, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. Sunflower2018

    Sunflower2018 New member

    May 23, 2018
    6
    Hello,

    I wonder if anyone can help please?

    I have POA for finance and property for my grandmother who has been in a care home due to Alzheimers for almost 2 years. We never chose the home, she was placed there by social services after being sectioned. It was outside her area, but the only one that that would take her as she was physically aggressive at that time. She was initially funded by the CCG, but after she calmed down and was reassessed the funding was withdraw, and she has been self-funding due to the amount of her savings.

    Fast forward to now and her savings are running out, so I've been in touch with social services from the area that placed her. They are arguing with the local authority in the place she was living in over who should fund her, but the social worker from the one who placed her is working on the assumption it's them ....

    Meanwhile the local authority doesn't own any homes and only pays a certain amount towards the care home. The rest has to be paid to the home by family/friends - approx £400 a month. The social worker said a deferred payment will not be accepted as it's to the home not the local authority. I don't have this money personally spare to pay the fees.

    My grandmother has a husband she's been married to for over 15 years. He doesn't consider himself next of kin and doesn't seem to want to get involved. He's refusing to pay anything towards her fees (he could easily afford to) and he doesn't want to move out of the 4 bed home they lived in even though he is struggling, as he's in his late 80s too. The house is in my grandmother's name.

    Someone will have to sign re paying fees when she is moved, and I can't afford to pay this personally so can't sign. She only has savings to last until June at the rate the current home is eating them, and then there will be literally no money - apart from what is tied up in the house. I'm not sleeping and worrying myself sick about where the money is going to come from. Is there anything I can to do to encourage her husband move to free up some money as he won't contribute?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,550
    Female
    London
    No one can be forced to pay for someone else's care fees, and it's not fair to try and make them. That goes for your grandmother's husband as well as for you. If the local authority cannot find a place meeting her needs that's within their budget they will have to up their budget, or they'll have to find a cheaper home elsewhere.

    It would be madness for the husband to move out of the property because it would instantly have to be sold for care home fees, whereas while he lives in it, it is a mandatory disregard.

    It is usually the LA that initially placed someone who is still responsible for someone so just tell them that no one can pay towards the fees and see what they say. Pestering the husband won't do any good - he is under no obligation.
     
  3. nellbelles

    nellbelles Volunteer Host

    Nov 6, 2008
    8,252
    leicester
  4. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    991
    Please be aware that what a social worker says regarding finance/funding is not always correct. It is the local authority finance section that will be dealing with funding issues, not social services.

    As already posted, whilst your grandmother's husband is living in their home it will be subject to a mandatory disregard. This means that it can not be treated as an asset - the husband doesn't have to move out, it doesn't have to be sold and a deferred payment can't be placed on the property.

    If your grandmother has specific care needs which mean that a suitable placement is difficult to find she might not have to move from her current home, particularly as it was social services who placed her there.

    Try not to panic. There is no obligation on you to pay towards the care, regardless of what the social worker has said. Leave them to argue amongst themselves about who should be paying the funding. Contact the social worker who has suggested they will be funding and let them know that your grandmother's husband is living in their house so it can't be sold. Ask for a financial assessment but don't agree to pay a 'top up". One of the local authorities will have to fund the care, but they will have to sign the contract with the care home, not you.
     
  5. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,350
    Female
    As Louise says, the local authority is obliged to find a placement for your grandmother which meets her needs and is within their budget. If they can't do that, they have to up the budget. Whether they own any homes themselves is irrelevant, they will block-buy beds beds in privately-owned care homes (my mother's care home is privately owned and the LA used to be their biggest client). Top ups from family are voluntary so please don't let anyone pressurise you about this. The LA has to find and fund a care home for your grandmother.
     
  6. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,424
    Can I just say: my understanding is that if someone is self-funding they are considered ordinarily resident in the location of the home, even if originally they were placed in that home by another local authority.
     
  7. Sunflower2018

    Sunflower2018 New member

    May 23, 2018
    6
    Thanks to all who have responded. When I said to the social worker I thought no one would be able to pay a top up, her response was ' then we have a problem'. Anyone know how I respond to this? I must admit the world of social workers is new to me, and I haven't warmed to one assigned to grandmother - no warmth or empathy at all. Hence me being so stressed about it all. I'm worried it will reach a point where there's no money, nothing is sorted, and she's thrown out of the home she is in. I guess then she'd have to go back to her husband, although that would be a disaster as she needs full time care and help with everything, bless her, due to the progression of her illness, and he really wouldn't be able to cope - which is another worry. He couldn't cope for ages before she went into the home but wouldn't admit it, and we couldn't get social services involves as he refused help so their hands were tied.

    As for the local authority who will fund her - I just wish they would hurry up and sort it between themselves. Also, if they told me there would be a problem with funding, I would have moved her when she become self-funding once the CCG stopped funding. I saw a social worker and had a financial assessment with the local authority who placed her, and they told me to get in touch with THEM when the money started running out.
     
  8. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,424
    "You might have a problem but it's your problem".

    Because while you obviously feel responsible, legally you have nothing to do with this.
     
  9. Sunflower2018

    Sunflower2018 New member

    May 23, 2018
    6
    Thanks very much Jenniferpa. Battling the social worker will be interesting ....

    I do feel responsible. I love my grandmother and feel protective and responsible for making sure she is ok. She is so frail and vulnerable. Sadly she doesn't know who I am any longer, but I'm determined to do what I can to get things sorted for her.
     
  10. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    991
    You don't need to 'battle' with the social worker - the funding/finances are nothing to do with them. If the local authority funding your Mum are anything like the one I'm dealing with for my Mum's care fees they may be very slow at sorting things out. I have given the care home manager the contact details for the person dealing with Mum's financial assessment and they are dealing with this between themselves - I am staying out of it. The home hasn't been paid for 7 months (although Mum is paying them her pension) but there's no suggestion that Mum will be thrown out on the street and made homeless.
     
  11. Sunflower2018

    Sunflower2018 New member

    May 23, 2018
    6
    The social worker is certainly making things as difficult as possible - seems a broken record telling me the top up 'must be paid' and she has never known anyone not pay it before (which I don't believe).

    It's reassuring to know that my grandmother isn't likely to be thrown out, as this was a worry - she's so vulnerable now.
     
  12. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    991
    If the social worker keeps going on about how a top up 'must be paid' ask them to send you a copy of the relevant guidance/legislation that states this. You will probably find that they go a bit quiet..........
     
  13. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    2,684
    Nottinghamshire
    A word of caution. When you get the financial assessment to fill in read it carefully. The back page of my dad's would have made me personally liable for paying his care costs if I'd signed it. The assessor had the decency to point this out to me but if she hadn't and I'd not read the page properly I'd have been in trouble as I don't even earn £600pw - let alone have it to spare!
     
  14. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    991
    Yes, make sure you read the 'small print'. LA"s tend to have their own versions of financial assessment forms - the last page of my Mum's form asked for a signature to agree to pay top up^s. I just put a line through it.
     
  15. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,350
    Female
    It's quite shocking that the SW is misleading you and trying to bully you into a paying a top up. There is no way relatives always pay a top up - and what would happen if there were no relatives? I suppose it would make her life a lot easier if you believed it, thank goodness you have access to the correct information here.
     

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