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Third Party top up

Walter uk

Registered User
Jul 27, 2019
13
Hi all I am having MAJOR problems with my local Social Services over top up fees.

Dad is a widower and 93 years old with severe dementia, he is losing weight, having trouble walking and getting totally confused.

We kept him with us for over a year until he became a danger to himself – and us! Dad ended up needed monitoring 24/7. In the end we had no choice but to place dad in a care home. He has been there over6 months, self funding.

His savings have dropped to the Social Services 1/11/2019 but I have not been able to resolve anything, nor has any money at all been forthcoming from Social Services.

The problem being they are insisting on a THIRD PARTY top up (not from his account) I badly want to keep him in the home he is in now but do not have the savings to pay up front what Social services are insisting on.

I am the only child and sole heir and have both POA’s and Social Services have seen a copy of dad’s will. I have told them I would be happy to use the balance of my father’s savings to keep him where he is. The Social Services say I am not allowed to. The money has to come via a Third Party Top up agreement, whilst his money stays dormant in his account until his death. Utter madness. Does anyone have a ‘workaround’ or advice?

Care homes where we are seem to be higher than other areas of the country, so finding a good home that accepts Social Services rates is hard. Social Services have homes in the area but they are all full with waiting lists. To be fair, they have found me two, with one within a ‘reasonable’ distance for visiting. I am concerned the upset and disturbance of a move will make dad worse.

I fail to see the logic they are applying. Far from trying to avoid paying, I want to pay to keep him where he is but, according to the local Social Services, I am not allowed to.

Any help would be really appreciated.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
1,682
Essex
Dear Walter,

This time last year I was almost in your situation but one thing you don't mention is whether your dad had any property that might be regarded as an asset. I hope other people will be a long to give their advice.

Thinking of you

MaNaAk
 

Walter uk

Registered User
Jul 27, 2019
13
Thanks for the reply MaNaAk.
Appreciated
He doesn't.
That is why things are so dire. I am over retirement age myself but having to keep working.
I have been 100% transparent with the Social, it made no difference.
Basically they tell me their hands are tied by government legislation.
I have been searching via google to see if there is any way out of this nightmare.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,440
North West
Thanks for the reply MaNaAk.
Appreciated
He doesn't.
That is why things are so dire. I am over retirement age myself but having to keep working.
I have been 100% transparent with the Social, it made no difference.
Basically they tell me their hands are tied by government legislation.
I have been searching via google to see if there is any way out of this nightmare.
There isn't unfortunately I'm in the same boat, but luckily mum is moving to a CH that won't ask for a top-up fee although I came close to having to pay one with other CH's. Its bizarre and I don't understand why this is asked for. Have you thought about writing to your MP and seeing if there is anything they can do to assist?
 

Walter uk

Registered User
Jul 27, 2019
13
Hi Palerider.
I thought I would try here first.
I simply fail to follow the logic.
As I said in my first post, there is somewhere dad can go that requires no Top up which, if I was after his money, would be the obvious choice.
However, I am not looking to have dad's money. All I want is to be allowed to do is to use his money to allow him to remain where he is.
We have always said (and the Social worker who is lovely, agreed) the time to move dad is when he can no longer find his way back to his room or got confused with his surroundings. He is not that bad yet. It is so unfair and so morally wrong.
Trouble is, while everyone I have had dealings with agree with me, they are not prepared to see sense and bend the rules to allow what is obviously the best I could do for dad.

You are not the first to suggest our MP.
Problem being, anything like that takes time.
Social Services have forced me into a position where time is a luxury I do not have.
 

Moggymad

Registered User
May 12, 2017
476
Completely agree with you @Walter uk! I recall having a similar conversation with mums SW whose advice to us when looking at residential care was not to commit to top ups unless we were sure we could continue paying them long term as it forms part of the contract with the care home.
Our savings then were (& still are) about equal to the lower limit when SS fully fund care home fees (with pension contribution from my mum). In other words the same amount of savings as my mum had. Yet the rules on top up would mean we would have to deplete our own life savings, which still had to last us for the next 20/30 years, whilst mums were protected & not allowed to be used. Like you say totally illogical when that money would just sit in the savings a/c whilst our money was needed for unexpected expenses like house repairs etc. We were very lucky that mum was moved into somewhere that didn't require a top up at the time but I worried that might change. As it was mum was only there for just over 2 years before recently passing away.
Committing to top up for an unknown length of time would be such a worry if your own finances are not that great.
I seem to remember it was on the cards for the top up rules to be changed but like everything to do with social care it seems to have dropped off the governments priority list.
 

Walter uk

Registered User
Jul 27, 2019
13
Thanks Moggymad.
I was hoping for a way to resolve this, but from the posts to date it looks like I will not get one!

I think action is needed, by the authority in question to redefine a contract that is clearly not fit for purpose. As it stands it is a "one size fits all", there needs to be discretionary flexibility.

Whatever my personal outcome, I will pass all to our MP and ask the question.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,440
North West
Thanks Moggymad.
I was hoping for a way to resolve this, but from the posts to date it looks like I will not get one!

I think action is needed, by the authority in question to redefine a contract that is clearly not fit for purpose. As it stands it is a "one size fits all", there needs to be discretionary flexibility.

Whatever my personal outcome, I will pass all to our MP and ask the question.
I would email you MP, they will get back to you fairly quickly -good luck
 

AliceA

Registered User
May 27, 2016
2,706
I feel for youWalter, we are in virtually the same situation. My husband's case is going before the panel, hopefully, on Tuesday.
Councils have a EPR that is Expected to Pay Rate. In our case the council have a very low rate,
The councils do have dedicated beds at the EPR, less the income etc. taken as a contribution.
This means the cost to the council is often very little.
The EPR seems quite unrealistic.
Equally 'reasonable' distance is vague, it depends on transport and age, health and situation of the next of kin.

The place where my husband has had respite is cleverly designed. It is one level, the central hub for the whole community with small household wings allow for staff to be flexible and more present as opposed to one we visited. People could easily wander back to their room or small sitting too.
This was a converted house with bedrooms isolated. Staff were noticeably absent. We arranged this privately.

How the council obtains beds is so flawed, fully self finders are paying over the odds.

Yes, time may be too short for us in the midst of it going on but when we are clear we need to press on for a just and kinder scheme.
We are in contact with the MP but it is a very slow process.

I feel we are negotiating through a mine field with moving goal posts. I hope you find a way soon.
 

theunknown

Registered User
Apr 17, 2015
413
I feel for you Walter, but I don't think there's any way of 'bending the rules' because Social Services and local authorities have to follow government regulations/legislation; otherwise they'd be subject to potentially being taken to court. In my situation I was 'lucky' because my mum was eventually placed on a Section 3 under the mental health act, which does allow for top-ups to be made from the person's own bank account/s. Outside of that I don't think it's allowed, and anybody who could afford to do third-party top-ups for an unknown space of time are probably few and far between. I did have to pay the top-up for several months until I got deputyship (which is expensive and time-consuming), but once I had that I could claim the top-up fees back and from then on pay them from my mum's bank account.

Until the government of the day starts to treat social care on a par with health care we're always going to be the poor relations. Often those who need social care, including the mentally ill, dementia patients, children, people in psychiatric units, etc are viewed as not worth spending taxpayers' money on, because they don't vote.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
1,628
Dorset
The problem is that families were, and still are, complaining that their relatives were having to use every penny of their savings to fund care, so regulations were made to stop that happening. Now at least some money should filter down to the next generation. Unfortunately you want your parent to stay in a Care Home that charges more than his income and the LA contribution cover but to keep within the rules you can no longer use his savings. Once the rules are broken then any LA could use that as an excuse to make people use all their savings on residential care.
I am afraid your only answer is to move your parent to a Care home whose charges are within the LA limits so that you do not need to top up or see if his current home will accept a smaller fee, possibly by moving to a smaller room.
 

Walter uk

Registered User
Jul 27, 2019
13
Thank you all for your responses.
I have taken legal advice and been advised of a route I could adopt:
I have had to take a LOT of days or part days off trying to resolve this since last July.

The opinion is that I am justified in reclaiming losses incurred from my father's account.
I can then use that money to cover the fees.

Not long term, obviously, but would give me a couple of months to take stock of any alternatives that may come to light.

Has anyone any comment on the legality of that option?
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,690
South coast
The opinion is that I am justified in reclaiming losses incurred from my father's account.
I can then use that money to cover the fees.
I have a nasty feeling that the LA would consider this Deprivation of Assets and seek to reclaim it, but I would phone the Alzheimers Society help-line as they are more knowledgeable than me
 

Walter uk

Registered User
Jul 27, 2019
13
Thanks Canary
The advice I have had is that, providing the loss of earnings can be specifically identified and substantiated that the time off was specifically to deal with my father's affairs, they are allowed.
Not sure myself!

Izzy had very kindly sent me the email link to them late Thursday.
Unfortunately, I got stuck in traffic on the way home and arrived too late to call them.
I will call them Monday
 

Walter uk

Registered User
Jul 27, 2019
13
Will do Palerider.
To be honest, however my dad's situation is resolved, I think I should take this as far as i can, for the sake of others.
I will post in future - IF I get anywhere.

As I have said previously, I understand there has to be legislation, but it desperately needs a review. As it stands it is morally wrong.

I cannot complain about our local Social Services, they are lovely, but their hands are tied.
Cases should be able to have individual assessment at LOCAL level!

All I am trying to do is the best for my dad that I can - the law won't allow it!
Madness!!!!!!!!!!
 

Cat27

Volunteer Moderator
Feb 27, 2015
11,010
Merseyside
Thanks Canary
The advice I have had is that, providing the loss of earnings can be specifically identified and substantiated that the time off was specifically to deal with my father's affairs, they are allowed.
Not sure myself!

Izzy had very kindly sent me the email link to them late Thursday.
Unfortunately, I got stuck in traffic on the way home and arrived too late to call them.
I will call them Monday
The helpline is open at weekends too @Walter uk

National Dementia Helpline
0300 222 11 22
Our helpline advisers are here for you.
Helpline opening hours:
Monday to Wednesday 9am – 8pm
Thursday and Friday 9am – 5pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm
 

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