Re: Financial Assessments & The Council!

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by VonVee, Apr 4, 2015.

  1. VonVee

    VonVee Registered User

    Dec 15, 2014
    70
    Poole Dorset
    #1 VonVee, Apr 4, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
    Please can anyone offer up some advise on this little problem I have, because it's been on my mind on and off for weeks now, and as I'm the only one dealing with it, I'm really worried and I'd be grateful of any help you can give me, so thanks muchly in advanced, Vxx

    On the 19th March we had a financial assessment done at my mum's flat with me there, which was organised by the SW!! Now a week before we got a phone call from the SW out of the blue advising me that this would be taking place, with a view to paying for mum's social care or not!

    Right where do I start, we've been having social care carers since the 14th Janurary, I didn't ask for them, it was the SW who told me that my mum was going to have them take over from the START team who were just temporary, there was NO mention ever to me that I would have to pay for this service at some point in time, if I knew this at the start, I would of pulled the plug, now 3 months on, I got a letter from the council last week with a bill for just over £1300, to say I am fuming mad is an understatement.

    The result of the financial assessment was, that they reckon my mum can afford £150.47 a week for the carers she's been getting and they want my mother to make a contribution, ok that's fine, but my mother has moderate/early severe dementia, and there's no way she can cope with this, so who's shoulders does this fall on to, well it's me, old muggings here isn't it, and I'm telling you, my mother CAN NOT AFFORD £600 a month on social care, basically it's going to take nearly all her money coming in, with no money left over for food or anything else, and I don't see why she has to pay, her rent is £400 a month, her CT is £85 a week, I have no idea how the financial service came to this decision, but I'm telling you it's bloody wrong.

    I have been trying to get a re-assessment done, as when she started getting a state pension, they took her DLA and SDA away, and the outcome of this assessment is based on her getting that, which she is no longer not, everywhere I phone I'm told, you need to talk to your SW, but I have tried that till I'm blue in the face, and she's either away on a call, or on another line, and we seem to miss each other, and I'm feeling really frustrated about all this and I'm soooooo stressed out.

    The crux of this story is that I wasn't told, period, and surely I must have rights, is there anywhere I can go or to see where I could get this problem sorted as its started to get under my skin big time, I'm really really annoyed.

    Council Bustards basically!
     
  2. barny

    barny Registered User

    Jan 20, 2006
    199
    Herts
    Oh vonvee I do feel for you. I had numerous battles with the financial department of our local council. I can only suggest that you put everything in writing. Email the social worker daily if needed. Keep on at them constantly. I would write to the financial dept and not get replies, telephone calls were pointless always getting someone different and having to explain things over and over again. In the end I wrote a letter to the head of the financial services and sent it registered post. That got a quick response and the issue that had gone on and on was soon resolved. They were always very quick to take money via direct debit but not so quick to put back what they had overcharged. Even when mum died they sent a bill which was too much and it took them months to send the correct bill! You just don't need all this stress when caring for someone with AD. I wish you luck.
     
  3. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    Radcliffe on Trent
    #3 Pickles53, Apr 4, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
    If the assessment was based on incorrect information, or it was correct at the time but your mum's financial circumstances have changed, then you must be entitled to a reassessment. Tell them in writing ( as calmly as you can) that you require an urgent reassessment and that your mum will not be able to make any payments until this has been done. And I agree, send it registered post with tracked delivery so they cannot claim it didn't arrive.


    PS. You mention CT which I presume is council tax at £85 per week. If your mum has a diagnosis of dementia she should be getting a reduction on council tax; if she lives alone this would be 100% reduction. Also does she get Attendance Allowance? She should!
     
  4. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,418
    Why on earth did they remove her dla when she started getting her state pension?
     
  5. tre

    tre Registered User

    Sep 23, 2008
    1,353
    Herts
    I would just agree with what the others have said regarding putting it in writing and sending it so they have to sign on receipt. I have not had this sort of battle regarding financial assessment with my husband as he still has assets over the limit but with other battles I have had re his care and treatment I have found they do take notice when you can prove you have sent correspondence.
    Regarding what some other people have said regarding sending emails to SW, in my area I know they have emails for their own convenience but they make sure the addresses are kept a secret from us "service users". I do occasionally get something from them by email but it always comes from a no reply box.
    Tre
     
  6. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,662
    Salford
    I wondered that too, I was going to check that later but I'm sure you keep your DLA after pension age.
    K
     
  7. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,839
    Suffolk
    #7 Spamar, Apr 4, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
    Re: Financial Assessments & The Council!

    You do. I started with DLA when I was 64 and a few months, too young for AA. Two years on I'm being moved to PIP. Not impressed with all the paperwork so far! BYW, my pension started at 60.
     
  8. VonVee

    VonVee Registered User

    Dec 15, 2014
    70
    Poole Dorset
    Hi All, thanks for your opinions, I'm all on my own here, doing this I mean, and I get a bit overwhelmed and bogged down with it all, I don't have much support, my kids too young, and hubby's an ostrich, so coming here helps me gets the answers I need, so thanks xx

    As for AA I do know about that, the doctor that diagnosed told me and I have applied for it last week, as for DLA I have no idea why they took it away, but I do have help in a local charity that's doing my POA, and the lady helping me with that, I will be talking to her next week after Easter, and maybe she'll get it back, we'll see!

    Well the thing is my mum is 82, well over 60, and as far as I know until now she's never had a state pension! And the reason for that was because my dad had a very good work pension coming in, and it was well over the threshold apparently, and they couldn't claimfor a thing, but now he's gone, and she's on her own, she can get a SP, so now she is, just only recent over the last 3 weeks.

    I'm gonna take your advise and I'll write a letter, but I will keep on and on at the SW also for a reassessment, as it's not on it is, as if caring for a AD loved one is not stressful enough, then the CC put this on you.
     
  9. daisydi

    daisydi Registered User

    Feb 25, 2015
    257
    Norfolk
    Forgive me if I am wrong but I thought everyone got a state pension!
     
  10. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,662
    Salford
    I don't think you do, if you've never paid any National Insurance and that is possible that could never have had a job then you wouldn't, it gets very messy as the system is about to change and in the past there was a reduced "married woman's" rate and all kind of things but it is easily possible to be getting a much reduced rate and possibly nothing.
    In answer to VonVee's question I think some bits don't seem right (and I don't mean that in a bad way) if they think your mum can pay them back £1,300 then start to pay £600 a month then unless she's quite well off then someone has got their wires crossed and you need (as you know) to get her reassessed ASAP.
    Mistakes do get made and as you were at the assessment meeting you know the facts as stated, I wonder how it was translated onto their clipboards, added a few noughts?
    K
     
  11. Flake

    Flake Registered User

    Mar 9, 2015
    222
    With regard to benefits. DLA which has two components, care and mobility and at different rates depending on your needs, and should only be stopped when someone goes into a residential care home or long term Hospital stay, or if their situation improves. If you are over 65 then you can claim Attendance Allowance. To claim the full amount the person must have care throughout the night as well as day. The reduced rate is for day time care.
    I would contact the Dept of Work and Pensions and have a chat. They are usually quite helpful with general enquiries. You can also speak to the Pension Service and just check the position. There are times when a Severe Disability Premium can be paid. As for Council Tax Relief. Speak to the Council, they have a form for you to complete and they will then ask for proof from the GP. Some Councils will backdate this to the date of diagnosis. (Well my Local Council did for my mum and she got a nice refund!) Definitely ask for a fresh assessment for care costs. Social Workers are not always right ! Good luck. :)
     
  12. Flake

    Flake Registered User

    Mar 9, 2015
    222
    Just had a thought, DLA will stop if, when the DWP send out a renewal it is not completed and returned. I wonder if this is what happened? :(
     
  13. piph

    piph Registered User

    Feb 4, 2013
    1,530
    Northamptonshire
    Definitely you need to get your Mum a re-assessment! My Mum had a financial assessment towards the end of last year - I did it by filling in a form and providing copies of all the relevant paperwork - bank statements, council tax (she doesn't pay any!) proof of income from DWP and 2 private pensions etc. She has an income which works out at about just over £300 a week and pays £88 a week towards her care, which is provided by a private agency, and we use the Direct Payments Scheme. I opened a separate bank account for it in my name, and Mum's contributions and the LA contributions are paid into it - I then pay the care bills from this account.
     
  14. Tucky

    Tucky Registered User

    Apr 9, 2015
    3
    Cheshire
    #14 Tucky, Apr 9, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2015
    I understand fully.

    Please note I have had trouble as my mother has been put in a care home for vascular dementia and the Council are taking her house to pay for the care. They did a wrong assessment and refused to disregard her house even though I was living in it as her son.





     
  15. jules1809

    jules1809 Registered User

    Apr 10, 2015
    1
    Get relevant professional advice

    As far as I can tell with my own local council's social services they are in total disarray. Have experienced "managers" failing to follow the legistered procedures, asking questions at the wrong place in the process in order to down grade according to their own priorities too quickly so making uninformed decisions without consent or adequate information. I could go on and on!

    Faced with this you do have to record and detail every communication and go up the ranks of management to get some one with sufficient authority and knowledge. Also read up on the society's fact sheets so you know both what they should be doing plus the common tricks they try on. I personally went to talk to the local Alzheimer's cafe and benefitted greatly from one to one chat with them.

    And please remember that you can get ultimately advice from a local solicitor with relevant experience.
     
  16. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    Radcliffe on Trent
    #16 Pickles53, Apr 10, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
    There are circumstances where a house is disregarded when another person is living there, but they are quite limited. From memory, I know that there are exceptions when the other person is a spouse, or over the age of 60. It may or may not be a wrong assessment but if you think it is you need to get advice from CAB, Age UK, or AS and appeal or seek a reassessment.

    BTW the council are not 'taking' the house. They are applying the law which requires almost everyone to pay for their own social care.
     

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