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Funding care - what happens if you start as self-funded but then go below the threshold?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Pooch Pooch, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Pooch Pooch

    Pooch Pooch New member

    Aug 22, 2018
    3
    We are in the middle of being assessed for care by the local authority, and it turns out that my relative is over the threshold by a few thousand pounds. That money won't last long, so what happens when she goes below the threshold - do we have to self-fund until she's run out of money conmpletely, or can they start helping fund it at that point? Also, would a care home give us a place as a self-funder and then it be okay to switch, or would that cause a problem? Thanks for any advice - this is stressing me out!
     
  2. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    444
    Female
    When your relative's money falls to the threshhold of £23,250, the LA will start to contribute some of the funding while your relative continues to part-fund. When her funds fall to £14,250 the LA will then fund all the fees (but they will take all her state pension and half of any private pension towards it).

    As to whether the care home will switch, some will and some won't so you need to discuss this with the manager. Some care homes don't accept LA clients any longer because of the low rates, or will only accept LA clients who have self funded for many years first. So as her funds will quickly run out you need to find a care home which is happy to switch.
     
  3. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,434
    Female
    Near Southampton
    In actual fact the LA take all the private pension a well as the state pensions, not half. They have the discretion to allow half of the private pension to be retained by a spouse but it isn’t always a definite though most authorities do so. Personal allowance of around £25 or so is allowed for personal use of the resident.

    It is wise to keep in mind the likelihood of falling below the LA threshold when looking at homes but there is of course always the option to pay a topup when the LA take over the funding if you choose. It’s not a popular option though as these can rise annually as the home rates do so but the possibility is there if you should feel strongly about a particular home. It shouldn’t be necessary for good quality of care though as LAs are usually quite quick to act when a home they use has problems.
     
  4. Azay28

    Azay28 Registered User

    Nov 21, 2015
    88

    Glad you asked this question Pooch Pooch,I will have the same issue. Mum can possibly pay for 6 months in a care home but then hits the 23,00 mark so finding a home that will accept social funding and still allow her to stay is tricky. I'm not at the stage where she needs one just yet (fingers crossed) but had a recent incident with her which made me realise I needed to do research now.
    I have seen several homes in my area and also spoken to social services who said to get an assessment 3 months before reaching threshold. However that will not help because she would already be in a home by then!
    I'm hoping I can get an assessment done before she would move to a CH. I know the ones I would like her to go to but there is a chance of a gap in costs ,according to my research and she would need a top up, which we cannot do. Trying to find homes with slightly lower fees is almost impossible when you live in the London area. Stress is right! Hope you can find the right CH.
    Azay
     
  5. Zen master

    Zen master Registered User

    Dec 17, 2016
    20
    Although I knew were I was aiming for and got it I did some homework ( a lot if I’m honest) prior to placing. The finances would have lasted a couple of years although sadly my family member did not.

    I did a Freedom of Information request to our local authority. I asked questions along the lines of.
    How many adults with a dementia diagnosis are placed currently via social care in this area?
    How many of these are fully funded by the local authority?
    How many were self funding prior to being funded by the local authority?
    How many have moved placement when the local authority became responsible for full funding?
    How many are fully funded above Expected to Pay rates?
    You could ask a specific question about the homes you prefer?
    Local authorities can publish redacted information on expenditure above a certain limit so if you dig enough you may find enough to know they are bending the rules for others.

    Care home placements are in high demand and very few accept EPR in my area. Because of this and if it would be detrimental if someone moved. I.e. against their best interests they would be hard pushed to do this. Use an IMCA if necessary and in dispute.
    All this said if the choice was a very plush clearly unaffordable option then it becomes more tricky on the basis of options that may be cheaper but still above EPR rates may be possible.

    I also did a Deferred Payment Agreement against the property so mum could continue to claim full benefits even though the local authority paid the bill in the first instance. The option of renting was on the cards before circumstances changed. This would have covered roughly 1 week in 4 so made things last longer.

    Best wishes and hope this makes sense.
     
  6. Philbo

    Philbo Registered User

    Feb 28, 2017
    496
    Male
    Kent
    I am hoping that my wife will not need residential care for while yet but I did start preparing last year by visiting a few likely care/nursing homes.

    Of the three I visited, only 1 would accept residents who were LA funded. I explained that my wife would only be able to self fund for around 6 to 9 months before reaching the upper threshold and the other 2 said that their policies required a guaranteed minimum "contract". So unless we signed up to this (seem to remember they were either a year or 2 years?), they wouldn't offer a place. Even if her funds lasted for say a year, she would then have to move to somewhere accepting LA funding.

    What makes any preparation even harder, is that many of the companies will not give a definitive answer as to how much a week they would charge. The reason being that it very much depends on the level of care a PWD needs at the time of going into residential accommodation (which I can understand, but how can you then anticipate when funds will deplete?).

    I am afraid that after this initial bit of forward planning activity, it worried and depressed me so much that my head went firmly back in the sand!:eek:
     
  7. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    770
    We married, funds went into one pot. We shared responsibilities according to abilities, I worked but my plans were fluid to family needs. We also at times reduced income when we worked for charitable organisations.

    Our retirement plans allowed for the fact I would, if I survived, inherit SERPS 100% pe cent. This was upheld by the Ombudsman when a government tried to reduce it.
    Should the council take this for fees if we run out as we would, I could not live on my reduced income.
    We have already downsized.
    I am desperate to keep us both at home together for as long as humanly possible. I have made adaptions, I am looking at a day centre attached to a carehome. Just in case respite or more is needed. The thought of a place that is known sounds good. My own health has issues.
    I thought there would be a clear guideline, not the whim of a council.
    Any advice/information would be useful.

    Got any spare sand Philbo?
     
  8. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,434
    Female
    Near Southampton
    If your husband has to enter a care or nursing home when the LA will be in loved with subsidising the fees, your husband’s state pension will have to go towards the fees as will any private or occupational pension - but the LA will have the discretion to allow you to retain half the latter pension so that you will be able to manage.

    Alternatively, if it works out better financially, you can opt for all the pension to be taken and you can apply for Pension credit which will bring with it certain other benefits e.g. not having to pay Council tax. This option was presented to me by the LA financial assessor but I was just a little better off with half my husband’s teaching pension and anyway preferred not to apply for benefits.

    With nursing home fees here averaging over £1,000 a week, I was aware that my husband’s savings would run out pretty quickly so took this into consideration when looking at the nursing homes. I knew that to move him at a later date would not be beneficial for him.
     
  9. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    444
    Female
    Yes of course you're right, there is the option of a relative topping up the fees, not something I can do (and wouldn't, anyway). At the point my mother will need the LA's input she will have funded herself for nearly 6 years, so if she is still with us the LA can take their turn.
    Thanks for the info re the private pension - I didn't realise that was the case. My mother does have a private pension and its fine with me if they take it all, there's no point it sitting in her bank account.
     
  10. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    444
    Female
    I had the same issue when I researched it well in advance - care homes aren't really interested in engaging with you before you actually need a place, because they don't know what your PWD's needs will be at that point, or if they will be able to meet them.

    I found that frustrating because I wanted to be able to plan, but at the point when I actually did need to move my mother to a care home I had no problem getting the answers. I did not need to guarantee any particular timescale of self-funding, but was told they wouldn't accept anyone with funds for, say, 3 months, because they wouldn't then accept them on an LA funded basis after such a short time. Whereas if they had funds for 3 years they may accept them on an LA rate subsequently (alternatively, they may not outlive their funds; and if they did, at least they would have had a worthwhile length of time there). It is difficult for carers, but also for care homes, to try to anticipate what the PWD's needs will be, and how long they will live.
     
  11. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    770
    You are right, Philbo, none of us know how long any of us has.
    I tend to research, sort out options then relax.
    But goal posts seem on wheels to be moved at whim. I feel I am Alice in Wonderland sometimes!
    Funding issues are different when in a long marriage.
    If it were a parent I would feel all monies should go towards a quality of care.

    As a married person it is so different. As a couple we shared everything without a thought. Even the earlier paternal governments supported that idea when we first married!
    Married women had a difficult time getting a separate bank account. I was furious when I was pregnant and my husband had to sign permission for me to have treatment!
    I have inheritance rights to SERPS, at the time it seemed the easiest way to save for older age. My earned money went straight into the joint account, it did not matter it was ours.

    It is only now that I see the problems, if we started now I would consider life differently.
    My husband was always protective, and still would be if he was able.
    I realise the added cost of visiting and caring from afar, but the heating and utility costs still have to be met.
    My better self knows it will all work out but this has been a heavy week of hospitals and admin, so I am feeling fragile.
    I have just had a battle over cross border NHS issues of living on a county border. I think, fingers crossed, I have achieved this, but the chicken has not hatched yet!

    I do feel that being a Carer is enough without the hassle. oh, and my knee hurts too!:)

    Like you I hope to keep us at home together.
     
  12. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    770
    It is difficult isn't Saffie, we want to do our upmost to protect the person we love, the cost does not really count, but we have to survive to do this. I feel frustrated to think plans to be independent albeit in a modest way seem to be whim led by local LA. Just me feeling lower than normal this week. Every thing done has involved, phone calls and irritating music! X
     
  13. MaNaAk

    MaNaAk Registered User

    Jun 19, 2016
    772
    Essex
    Dear Pooch Pooch,

    I will be in your place at some point so I am following this thread with interest. I was told by my local authority that I should contact them when dad's savings go below £30000 so if your relative has savings below this amount I would contact your local authority now as I was warned that my branch is slow in dealing with these things!

    Good luck

    MaNaAk
     
  14. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    770
    I did have a reply from one place today, a care home that also has a day centre. The amount was eyewatering per week. They expect self funding to be available for two years.
    Another has told a friend the same. Perhaps it would ensure people would be established enough not to be moved. However the amount is much more than a council in this area would pay I am sure.

    We are considering the day centre as a means of helping to manage longer at home.
     
  15. MaNaAk

    MaNaAk Registered User

    Jun 19, 2016
    772
    Essex
    Dear Alice,

    This is a good idea and it was that I tried before putting dad in the home. If your relative settles with this then it is a good idea after all you are trying all avenues before putting in her in a home.

    Good luck

    MaNaAk
     
  16. MaNaAk

    MaNaAk Registered User

    Jun 19, 2016
    772
    Essex
    Dear Philbo,

    Could I have some sand as well please?

    Thankyou

    MaNaAk
     
  17. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    770
    We hope to see it next week, a clear day on my own would help me do some of the ever increasing admin at my own pace. Two days would be better!
    It is all part of my strategy to stay at home as long as we can. My own health has its challenges. We share almost 170 years between us.
    So I am hoping the idea will appeal when the place is seen. In theory we both agree.
    It is such a minefield though, isn't it.
    I hope your Dad is in a happy place. X
     
  18. Philbo

    Philbo Registered User

    Feb 28, 2017
    496
    Male
    Kent
    Hi MaNaAk

    I live 5 minutes walk from the sea, so I've plenty of sand!:D

    Phil
     
  19. MaNaAk

    MaNaAk Registered User

    Jun 19, 2016
    772
    Essex
    Same here in Essex Phil! I notice you live in Kent so I am looking across at you!

    MaNaAk
     
  20. Philbo

    Philbo Registered User

    Feb 28, 2017
    496
    Male
    Kent
    Wife's sister lives in Hadleigh and they've also had a mobile home on West Mersea for years. Used to do regular trips up your way, before the wife got ill.
     

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