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Strange letter from The Local Authority

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by snowygirl, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. snowygirl

    snowygirl Registered User

    Jan 9, 2014
    151
    Hello TP kind people

    Its been 3 1/2 months now since dad went into a care home. Today I've received a letter from the LA asking me to fill in a financial assessment form so that they can assess him for funding. I have LPA. The strange thing is we as a family have not asked for any help as we did this over a year ago when he was going to day care and he was deemed a self funder as he then had much more than the £23 grand allowed and he also owns his own home that my mother currently lives in. Why would they write to us as if we've contacted them. Is this normal or have they just made a mistake?

    I'm going to contact them on Monday but can I just clarify a few things?

    Dad still has in his own name in both an account, bonds and shares @£40,000. He is therefore a self funder still isn't he?

    When dad's money dwindles to @£30,000 it was then that I was going to think about contacting the LA. Even so, as he owns a house, I was expecting them even if they paid his care fees to run up a debt that we would have to repay once my mum had passed on and the house was sold. Is this correct? Is there anything wrong then in using my mum's money to pay for my dad's care fees and not contacting the LA at all for help as it seems at the end of the day its all swings and roundabouts and the LA will not pay for anything all the time both my parents have over @£14,000 capital. I hope this makes sense.
     
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,557
    Female
    South coast
    I dont know why he has been sent this letter, but i thought I would point out that all the while your mum is living in the house it is disregarded by the LA and once he is under the £23,000 the LA will start to pay for his care, without racking up a debt on the house.
    When your mum passes away, if he is still living and assuming that he inherits the house, he will again become a self-funder. If your dad passes away first, then the house will never be taken into account.
     
  3. Selinacroft

    Selinacroft Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    937
    Hi, I think what you have said above is correct and perhaps the authority is just trying to make sure you don't miss out on anything.
    You don't have to disclose any financial info to them, so you could just contact them and say thank you for the letter but Dad is over the threshold by quite a sum and is therefore a self funder. Say that when Dad's savings have reduced down to the threshold you will contact them again. They don't need to know how much Dad has or where his investments are.
     
  4. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,039
    Male
    North Manchester
    As your dad appears to be well over the limit that is all I would tell the LA, also tell them that you will inform them when his reducing assets are approaching the upper limit.

    If you let them see the current assets when these approach the upper limit and the LA do a second assessment they may ask for a root and branch explanation of the reduction.
     
  5. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,046
    Staffs
    If the house is the one your Mom lives in then that is disregarded from his capital. It is unlikely (not impossible) that the LA will not enter into a Deferred Payment Scheme or "run up a debt" as you call it.

    Since your Dad went into care your parents accounts/capital should be kept separate. If your Mom needs to go into care the home would, in most circumstances, be sold and split equally. They would then be self funding but if you have used all your Mom's share to pay for your Dad the LA will ask questions.
     
  6. tigerlady

    tigerlady Registered User

    Nov 29, 2015
    427
    As canary says the house is disregarded as your mother is still in it and it will not be taken into account at all if she outlives him. Nor will any money in your mothers name and you will not be asked or expected to pay for his care from your mothers money. I dont know how much longer your fathers money will take to get down to £23,250, but you could calculate this and then work out when to get him financially assessed, because everything to do with the LA seems to take ages. Between £14,250 and £23,250 he would have to contribute some of the fees and after £14,250 the LA should take over the shortfall between any private pension your father gets and the care home fees (I think the state pension is stopped apart from a weekly allowance - not sure on this, though, since the new laws)

    If the care home fees are above what the LA will pay, they have a duty to find a suitable home that is within their budget. If they don't, then they will have to pay what it takes to keep your father in his present home. If they do find one, but you dont want your father to move, then you may be asked for a top up, which is why you really have to keep your mothers money intact in case it is needed for that.

    I may be wrong, but no doubt someone more experienced with how things are now will correct me.
     
  7. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,046
    Staffs
    Please do no think me picky as what you have said is correct however although, as you quite rightly say, the LA have an obligation to fund a CH that meets the persons needs it does not have to be the present one as you suggest. It may only be the present one if that is the only one that can meet needs. If for example the current one is £500/week more and they can find one at £10/week more then their obligation is complete.

    :)
     
  8. snowygirl

    snowygirl Registered User

    Jan 9, 2014
    151
    Thank you for all your replies. I've calculated that using only the money solely in my dads name that it will be roughly Sept this year that dad's money will fall below the upper limit and then everything else is in mums name or the one remaining joint account. I was thinking of contacting them around June this year but as I'm going to be talking to them I may as well ask them on Monday if this is about right.

    You've thrown up something I wasn't aware of. So if mum outlives dad and the LA have been paying towards dads care home fees they wont ever ask for money back even though the house is in shared names? I thought they would try to get us, the family, to repay the care home fees once the house was sold. So this isn't the case?

    My mum having dementia will no doubt have to go into care at some stage. I was assuming that we would pay for this from the proceeds of the house minus whatever the LA had taken from dad's share. If they will never touch this money it makes me feel better to know that we would have all the proceeds of the house to put mum somewhere that we choose over the local authority. I suppose the problems come if mum has to go into a home whilst dad is still living.

    To be honest I don't really want to involve the LA. It seems such a messy business and so far we've had nothing but trouble when the authorities have stepped in. I guess its all about one step at a time as it has been for the past few years. Thanks for your help I'll be back I'm sure when dad's money begins to run out!!
     
  9. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    4,999
    UK
    The house is disregarded as long as your Mum lives in it. If it is sold while your Dad is still living and in care funded by the LA then half of the house will be counted towards his ongoing care. I assume your parents jointly own the house.
     
  10. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    At the point your mother leaves the home to enter a care home, your father's share of the value of the property comes into play if he is still alive. So while your mother is still living in the house there are no fees accruing against it, but as soon as she leaves for full-time care, his 50% of the house profits become his and can and will be assessed by the LA to pay for his care. You won't have all of the proceeds to pay for your mother's care when the time comes if your father is still alive. But if he predeceases her, and she is still in the house, then absolutely, there is no claw back from the LA.
     
  11. snowygirl

    snowygirl Registered User

    Jan 9, 2014
    151
    Thank you this makes things a lot clearer for me now as somehow I was forgetting that, of course, if dad passes away everything including dad's share of the house is passed onto mum and it becomes her asset. I'll let you know why the LA have contacted me after we speak tomorrow. You have all been very helpful.
     
  12. realist1234

    realist1234 Registered User

    Oct 30, 2014
    108
    Could I suggest anyone whose parents own a main home that they discuss with them the possibility of changing their ownership from 'joint tenants' to 'tenants in common'. If a property is owned as joint tenants and one of them dies, the surviving partner automatically inherits the property as a whole. If that partner is or goes into a care home then the full value of that property will be used to pay their fees. However if they owned the property as 'tenants in common' then each partner only owns 50%, and this share could be left to children on their death (in their will).

    In my own case, our dad moved into a nursing home and then our mum. Our dad sadly died within a couple of months. The CH charged a top-up fee for our mum. Our dad had changed his will so that his share of the property would go to his children upon his death, and this could only be done as they owned the property as tenants in common. As the top-up fee was costing us thousands of pounds a year, we had to sell the house and were able to use our share of it to pay the top-up, otherwise we could not have afforded to keep our mum in the CH. Just a thought!
     
  13. chrissie121

    chrissie121 Registered User

    Nov 27, 2013
    29
    Financial Assessments

    Hi there, these forms can be very difficult to understand why you need to complete them but having gone through this exercise in the past 12 months I can explain. the homes keep the LA informed of residents and how they are funded, either personal or LA funded. As your mother lives in the jointly owned home it cannot be sold to fund his fees, nor do the LA take a charge against it to be repaid on her death. The LA look at his personal assets only. So The LA needs to assess if he continues to pay for himself or if you require funding hence why they sent the form. If he has more than £23,000 in savings he has to pay for himself including his monthly personal and state pensions. Once his cash/savings reduce down to below £23,000 he will then be assessed again. so for example his monthly pension is £550 plus £200 private pension, £750.00 he has £22,900. They calculate the difference between lower threshold tier of £14,250 and £23,000 higher threshold. In this example ££8,650.00 is viewed as additional income. they work it out by for every £500 of savings you have its £1 of income. so £8,650 divided by £500 is 17.3 = £17.30 per week x 4 and add this sum £69.20 to the pension income of £750.00 making a total of £819.20 per month of income. Out of this sum he is allowed a personal allowance of £24.50 a eek x 4 = £98.00 a month. Deduct £98.00 from total income of £819.20 - and the sum of £721.20 is divided by 4 = £180.30 a week. Your father will then contribute to his care at £180.30 a week and the LA will fund the rest. I hope this helps.
     
  14. tigerlady

    tigerlady Registered User

    Nov 29, 2015
    427
    Check what the council will pay though. When I was looking for a home for my husband, I was told the council's budget was £400 a week. I stupidly thought that they would pay this in addition to taking his pensions, so we could afford a home for £600 a week, as my husbands state and private pension added up to about £200 per week and his savings were below the threshold. However they told that they would take my husbands pension and then only top up to £400 per week and the only homes they could find that charged that wouldn't take my husband.
    After being turned down from other more expensive homes, which we couldn't have paid for, in the end he was assessed for CHC and got it, thankfully, as I really dont know what would have happened if he hadn't
     
  15. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,046
    Staffs
    Hi Chrissie,

    If you haven't already seen it I have posted on this thread.....http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/show...l-Authority-funded-care&p=1226863#post1226863
    where you calculate in a similar fashion which is not quite correct.

    Also on this one the final amount would be wrong as 50% of the private pension can go to the Mother as she is still living at home.

    Hope that helps.

    :)
     
  16. snowygirl

    snowygirl Registered User

    Jan 9, 2014
    151
    Thanks for the additional answers I'll certainly be referring back to them in the future. I rang the LA about their letter and they said it was generated from our filling in a form back in Dec 2014 when day was having day care. They hadn't actually sent me a new assessment form and said that as dad was still in funds enough to be a self funder that there was nothing to be done and apologised. They didn't seem to know that dad was in a care home now. Interestingly enough when I asked them as to what stage I should ask for help they said only a month before dad's money was to drop below £23,500. I said I was surprised at how late this was to leave it but they seemed to be happy to tell me it wasn't necessary to contact them earlier as if they were really on the ball with their assessments. Lets hope so come the Summer!
     

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