Occupational pension and care home fees

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by patchworkamber, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. patchworkamber

    patchworkamber Registered User

    Jan 6, 2014
    45
    south east wales
    I am beginning to explore the world of care homes to be prepared if and when the time comes. The financial aspect is beginning to make sense and given my OH has been assessed for non residential charges I know we are under the 24 k upper limit. But I am not sure if there would be a different assessment for residential fees and what will happen to his occupational pension? Would it be halved because he is in a home? Not sure if anyone out there can shed some light on this minefield. Ps we are in Wales. Many thanks.
     
  2. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,493
    Female
    Near Southampton
    For residential care which is subsidised by the LA, you husband's state pension plus his occupational pension will be used towards his fees. He will be allowed an allowance of around £24 per week from that.
    However, the LA can allow you, as his wife, to keep half his occupational pension.
    If this is less than you would receive with your own pension plus pension credit, you can opt to go this way instead.
    However, pension credit is of course means tested and reduced according to the amount of savings you have.
    If you opt for this, then the whole of the occuptional pension will be paid towards his fees.
    It's a case of taking the option which is more beneficial for you.
    Attandance Allowance stops too.
     
  3. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    3,802
    Essex
    All of John's State Pension plus half his occupational pension, less the £24 ish pocket money, were taken, but I did get this reduced a bit more. He had a Life Insurance policy for 15 years, and the LA agreed to pay half of the monthly amount.

    Also, they don't take into account your savings. And if they ask, stick to your guns and say that your savings are not the issue. I stuck to so many guns, I was a good match for Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane! Also, because the LA were the ones who said John should be in care, I did a lot more gun-sticking and told the Care Home that I wasn't liable for top up fees.

    This would have cost me another £1,000 a month, and believe me, I stuck faster than Superglue! :) If the person gets Attendance Allowance, this is stopped, but if they were awarded Disability Living Allowance, prior to 65, with the Mobility Component, as well as the care, then the Mobility Allowance is still paid.
     
  4. patchworkamber

    patchworkamber Registered User

    Jan 6, 2014
    45
    south east wales
    Thanks for responding. I do like the calamity Jane anology and will be gunsticking if need be. Sounds naive but I had not realised what the financial implications were for me if he goes into a home.... Have started thinking about what standing orders I can delete! And to buy things now rather than later....maybe another handbag!
     
  5. chick1962

    chick1962 Registered User

    Apr 3, 2014
    11,282
    Female
    near Folkestone
    Or shoes :D I love shoes ! On a serious note it is dire for us carers specially if we are below 68 and not entitled to pension credits. If OH would have to go into a home now , only option for me would be to sign on again and get a job fast as I would have no other money .


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  6. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,045
    Staffs
  7. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,493
    Female
    Near Southampton
    #7 Saffie, Aug 29, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
    Be careful if this expenditure is from a joint account. The LA will scrutinise statements up to a year back and take note of all expenses, which could affect their decisions.

    This is down to indvidual authorities. I had no such support.
    In fact the financial assessor tried to persuade me to stop the payments.
     
  8. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    8,007
    Norfolk
    I put most of my utilities on PAYG meters to save me worrying about paying for gas/water/electric. Just got a bill in for more than hubby gets in his pension. Gonna query that one for certain. Otherwise, I'd have hardly anything left to live on.
     
  9. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    3,802
    Essex
    Yes, you are quite right, it is down to individual authorities. But, it is also in the 116 page CRAG report, that if someone has had a policy for a long time, this is one of the things that the LA should consider.
     
  10. esmeralda

    esmeralda Registered User

    Nov 27, 2014
    3,072
    Devon
    Scarlett, does this mean that as far as top up fees go, if they agree you are not liable for them then the LA can't put a charge against your property? (Tenants in Common).
     
  11. esmeralda

    esmeralda Registered User

    Nov 27, 2014
    3,072
    Devon
     
  12. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,437
    The LA can only put a charge against your property if you have agreed to a deferred payment agreement. However if you agreed to pay a top up and not paid it then they (or probably the care home) could sue you and if the court agreed that you were responsible, putting a charge against your property would be an option for them I think.
     
  13. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,045
    Staffs
    Esmeralda, the rules on this sort of thing are designed to prevent people from hiding funds to reduce their future care costs. They are not there to stop people from living their lives as the have always done so. Same for keeping receipts, if that is what you do then fine, if it is not then do not.

    Now if you used the paypal account to buy "yourself" a villa in Sardinia or when the assessor comes round there is a recently purchased Renoir hanging on the wall they may raise the odd eyebrow or two.

    If the joint account is an official one then the guidance suggests that this is split into separate accounts before any financial assessment takes place so only your OH's capital is taken into account.

    With regards to the DPA I agree with Jenniferpa only a court can place a charge on a house without the owners consent and remember the LA cannot force anyone to pay top up fees.

    :)
     
  14. jikkie

    jikkie Registered User

    Aug 23, 2015
    64
    #14 jikkie, Aug 30, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
    This is frightening me too. If OH goes into care, and his state pension and half his little private pensions go with him, then I don't think my pension income will be sufficient to allow me to stay in the house. We have no capital. We are still paying an interest only mortgage so will come to grief probably in another 7 yrs anyway. But if I have to sell, then the LA will take his portion of the equity, and I will be left in a right mess... Or, if indeed by some miracle I manage to stay, perhaps with my son in law helping me out, then I will never be able to move.....

    We cannot move now, as we have insufficient equity to buy something suitable.

    We have changed to tenants in common, with 75% 25% split, but don't think we can do anything else to protect my situation?

    It rather "amuses" me that OH would be allowed £24 (pw or is it pm?) pocket money. It's many many years since I had any at all. But is this amount intended to pay for clothes etc? And how is the pocket money administered, if indeed that is the case. Small point I know... minutiae keeps me sane sometimes!
     
  15. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    8,007
    Norfolk
    With the latest bill they've charged me, I don't have enough funds coming in, even with his single person's pension to pay it, so I'm going to challenge it, as it would clear most of my current income to pay it, along with his pension, without paying any of my own house bills and buying food. As for the £24 weekly pocket money for OH, that's currently impossible to cover. I know who I'm going to phone about it first, and there is another source of information I can also contact, who I know will step in for me. They are not allowed to clean me out to the point where I would have to live on the streets. I will not stand for that, especially after all my hubby and I have already lived through, for almost seven years, plus the downgrade in his mental health for several years before dementia attacked him.

    I would have lain down and moaned before. Not now! Enough, as they say, is enough.
     
  16. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,493
    Female
    Near Southampton
    .
    I'm sorry, it wasn't intended to do that.
    It was Patchworkamber's mention of spending money now on preparation for having to live on less that prompted that comment. I'm sure the suggestion of handbags etc. was mention jokingly, at least I hope so, but normal expenditure is usually perfectly acceptable.

    Our joint account was mainly funded by my husband's pensions as I only received the married woman's element of the state pension and a very tiny teacher's pension which went into a separate account for extras.
    My husband was self-funding in his nursing home for some time and as he'd been transferred there directly from hospital, I naturally didn't give a thought to the utility direct debits which were all paid from the joint account. Naturally, once the LA came on board with assisting with the fees , these would be paid for by the half of the occupational pension.
    However, my LA objected to these and other normal expenditure having come from an account to which I hadn't contributed, over the time he was self-funding. Despite my arguing that I hadn't been a spendthrift and hadn't even had a night's holiday so deprivation of assets hardly applied, they didn't start to contribute until my husband's capital reached £18,000 rather than £23,250. I've never understood their reasoning and have to say I do resent their judgement.

    I hope your LA's are more understanding. When as my husband's Deputy I had a visitor from the Office of Public Guardian, she was pretty scathing about my particular LA as she had just visited a lady who had not even been told she was entitled to half her husband's occupational pension so was living on the breadline.

    Of course it depends on your lifestyle but I found it perfectly possible to live with my means of my husband's half teacher's pension, which wasn't even a full pension as ill-health forced his early retirement at 55, plus my meagre pension. With daily visits to my husband, it meant little time for holidays or much else. His allowance for clothes etc. was fine too. Like me, his needs were not many.

    It prepared me for the life I live now that I have lost him, when I receive the same amount but with the dubious bonus of a slightly enhanced state pension, as it's now that of a widow.

    Where top-ups are concerned, if self-funding for a time but aware that it cannot continue for the whole of the time it may be needed, it is wise to settle on a home that will be eventually be affordable, at the beginning.
    This will prevent the worry over a possible move in the future should the LA not agree to contribute the amount necessary.
    The more expensive a home doesn't meant the better the care or facilities which would be of value to your husbands.
    Best of luck.
     
  17. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    3,802
    Essex
    The Care Homes are businesses, and as such, many charge "top up fees". I read that CRAG report night after night, and found out as much info as I could. John's Care Home charged £525 a week, for short term stays, and whilst he had 4 weeks respite (I had a knee operation), that amount of money was paid into our joint current account, by the LA, and I paid the Home.

    However, I still had to pay then about £150 a week towards this. At this point he was still getting Attendance Allowance, and neither of his pensions, State and Private, were touched.

    Once it was decided he needed permanent care, it was imperative that I didn't sign anything that the Home gave me, because if the LA are the ones that decide care is necessary, then they suggest a Home, with an available bed, and pay the Home the LA rate, which was £525. They have special contracts with Homes, John stayed in the Care Home where he had respite.

    Then, the £150 I had been paying each week towards Day Centres (he was charged £9 per hour by our LA) and thereafter for the respite fees, ceased. And so did Attendance Allowance, and I had to pay John's state pension, plus half his net private pension.

    I too only had a Married Woman's pension, about £85 a week, plus half of John's private pension, so I decided that I had to do all the legwork necessary to find ways to reduce John's contribution, hence my intense study of CRAG - but it was worth it. No charge was made against my home.

    Rightly or wrongly, when things started to go downhill in 2013, I used the savings that were in John's name to fund the home improvements that we'd been putting off. Nobody queried anything, and though I had receipts for everything over £100, I was never asked for them. We last had a holiday in, I think, 2003, but if John had been able to travel, I would certainly have used his savings for an annual holiday.

    Incidentally, you cannot be left in dire poverty, and you need to detail your expenditure, to show what you have to pay out. I listed everything. in great detail. I couldn't walk up and down the garden, mowing the lawn, on crutches, so I listed what I paid the gardener. These things are allowable, but LAs are, to some degree, autonomous. Good Luck!
     
  18. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,045
    Staffs
    If you will not have enough equity to buy another property then I am afraid the LA may want his portion. Depending on the amount if it up to £14,250 then the LA cannot touch it and it is your husbands to spend as he wants. Over £14,250 then the LA take some of it to help pay the costs. Over £23,250 he will become self funding.

    However if you are able to buy another property then that portion (all or some of it) can be given to you to help towards the cost. Same applies if you want to move in the future.



    The PEA (as it is called) is per week and can be spent on anything other than to help with the care bill. When the LA ask for his pension each month/quarterly they just deduct it from the bill.

    In the New Care Act there is a discretion given to the LA to increase the PEA to allow for continuing expenses on a home that has been disregarded. Continuing mortgage payments is given as one of the reasons.:)
     
  19. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,045
    Staffs
    Have you asked the LA to increase the PEA?
    :)
     
  20. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,493
    Female
    Near Southampton
    I apologise if I am wrong but I thought that in Wales there is only the £24,000 limit and below this, no further capital is taken towards the cost of care home fees. That is, the £14,250 is n't involved.

    Scarlett, I think you have a generous LA. Even the £525 is way over what our LA paid.
     

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