Money (lack of it) but can't cope with another fight

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by monkeygirl15, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. monkeygirl15

    monkeygirl15 Registered User

    Oct 1, 2017
    58
    I haven't posted here for a bit as I have been so devastated by my mum's illness and the surrounding circumstances. But I need some advice. I have a lot of very well-meaning friends but I have quickly found out that until you're in it, people simply don't know "the system."

    The current situation is this. My mum had to have an emergency admission to a Care Home early Feb. This followed months and months of me battling with social services to take her needs seriously. The home she went to was the only one that had a bed and, as I said it was an emergency admission. It was initially for respite and then, following the Best Interests Meeting, made permanent as my mum settled better than expected.

    Back in February, I (perhaps stupidly) signed the top of fee agreement. I was just glad mum was safe. It was £30 a week and well worth every penny. But then, true to form, the Council have taken until now to sort out the contract. So today, when I went to visit my mum, I was given a set of invoices that amount to over £600 of fees for me to pay. I don't have £600!

    The background is that leading up to mum being admitted, it came to light that £35,000 had moved from my mum's account to my sister's. I battled until last month with Social Services to investigate it. Their conclusion last month was that, although they don't doubt where the money has gone, as my mum can no longer say whether she agreed to it, then they can't do anything about it. My sister no longer speaks to me and won't pay any money towards anything. I have had to clear out my mum's house, put it up for sale and basically do everything on my own.

    I know I could go to "battle" again with the Council and say I can't afford to pay the £600 but I just can't do it. My mum does have the money in her account to pay for her fees and once the house sells, she will be fully self-funding. Can I pay the money out of my mum's account or is there anything else I can do - other than try to sort things out with the council - which I am sure will be yet another battle that I don't have the emotional energy to fight.

    The Care Home have been great btw - but I realise they have to be paid for what they are doing.

    Any advice would be really gratefully received.
     
  2. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    15,908
    Male
    North Manchester
    #2 nitram, Jun 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
    I assume that you have gone down the track of deciding whether or not your mum had capacity at the time of the transfer.

    Can't think of an easy way out except saying to the LA (or care home) you can't afford it in one lump, can you start paying the £30 plus a small extra amount until the debt is cleared, which could be after your mum becomes self funding.

    Beware of saying you will pay it off using money from the sale of your mum's house, they could argue that this would be a first party top up which is not generally allowed.
     
  3. monkeygirl15

    monkeygirl15 Registered User

    Oct 1, 2017
    58
    Hi Nitram

    Yes, I went into the route of capacity but SS said they couldn't comment on capacity retrospectively. I think I will try ringing the Council - though that's usually not a great phonecall...
     
  4. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    15,908
    Male
    North Manchester
    Forget SS regarding retrospective capacity, have they any medical details?
    You know the date of the transfers, see if you can obtain any notes from GP/clinic/...relating to that time. H&W LPA would be useful.

    The LA don't want the legal battle of recovering the funds which may even have been spent by now. Not even sure who would take action in the case of financial abuse of a vulnerable elderly person lacking capacity.
     
  5. monkeygirl15

    monkeygirl15 Registered User

    Oct 1, 2017
    58
    Nitram, I have honestly done it all. Been to solicitors. Involved local MP and everything. Sister kept my mum away from the Dr's so there was nothing on the notes until I got involved and by then her Mental Capacity was something like 3 or 4 out of 20. SS's argument is that she may have, in the moment of signing the cheques etc had a moment of clarity. The fact that my sister was using my mum's card in other cities to withdraw £100s is something even the banks don't want to look at. Honestly, it's horrendous and wrong. The money is well gone. I am asking my MP to try to get a change in the law to protect those with dementia from financial abuse in a similar way to I think probate does for those that have died. As it stands, the law is a toothless lion in this respect at the moment.
     
  6. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    15,908
    Male
    North Manchester
    Sorry about all this.
    Unfortunately, when under stress, you signed an agreement to pay the top up.

    It looks as if your only way forward is to negotiate some form of 'payment plan' to pay of the debt.

    Letting ~20 weeks of debt accrue is the problem, if the LA had not done this you might now be in a better position.
     
  7. istherelight?

    istherelight? Registered User

    Feb 15, 2017
    90
    Oh poor you, @monkeygirl15 . What a rotten situation in every respect.

    As nitram says, try and negotiate a plan with the Care Home. I am so sympathetic but I have no other ideas.

    So sorry you have this to cope with xx
     
  8. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    15,908
    Male
    North Manchester
    It should not be the care home, contract is with LA, guidance (not always followed) says top up should be paid to the LA, much better arrangement if (when) care home start increasing prices.
     
  9. monkeygirl15

    monkeygirl15 Registered User

    Oct 1, 2017
    58
    I rang the LA but they shut at 3pm on a Friday! Yes, if they hadn't taken so long to sort all this out then it would have been much more manageable for me. I've also spoken to a good friend and I when I ring them on Monday I am going to give permission for them to speak to her on my behalf. That way if it does turn into yet another battle she is willing to do some of it for me. I guess sometimes you just can't do everything on your own :-(
     
  10. nellbelles

    nellbelles Volunteer Host

    Nov 6, 2008
    7,597
    leicester
    I’m glad you have someone to speak for you, it’s sometimes easier to do it for someone else, I hope you can get this sorted
     

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