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How can they do this?

(135 Posts)
Luckygirl Tue 26-Nov-19 22:25:05

Today I visited my OH - he was so weak that he could not lift his head or feed himself or make his voice audible.

I am selling our home to make it possible for him to stay where he is getting good care.

And then I received a letter from the local authority indicating that they are prepared to pay their £238 per week, and that I am obliged to pay the "top-up" in the form of a third-party contribution of £950 per week. It also said that if I defaulted on this payment SSD would move him to a home costing their ceiling of £573 per week. So - they would drag him out of the home where he is settled and getting good care. A man who is slowly dying in misery.

Well - let me tell you, heartless LA, that you will never do that - just never. I will lie down in front of the transport before you will do that.

How can they write such a letter to me at such a dreadful time? Is this meant to be a civilised nation?

Gonegirl Tue 26-Nov-19 22:30:50

Could you release some equity on your house to pay it? I don't know how it works though.

I am so sorry this is happening to you.

annsixty Tue 26-Nov-19 22:39:26

I thought a family member was prepared to loan the money and would take it out of the sale of the house when you die.
This obviously is not what you want and the system is iniquitous.
Are you appealing again?

Marydoll Tue 26-Nov-19 22:44:02

Luckgirl, what a heartless and cruel letter. It is outrageous!.😠
Is there anyone who can advise you?

I have followed your sad journey with your husband on GN. There seems to be no respite for you.
I have no words which can make things better, except offer virtual support. 💐

Luckygirl Tue 26-Nov-19 22:47:10

Thank you.

I just feel so angry that they can send such an inhumane heartless letter when they know what is going on. How do they sleep at night?

I used to be a SW many moons ago and I resigned mid-career over just this sort of inhumanity - I had no integrity left, neither professional nor personal.

Doodle Tue 26-Nov-19 22:52:17

luckygirl that is dreadful. If SSD can pay up to £573 per week could the LA not pay that amount towards your husband’s costs rather than the pittance of £238 (sorry I don’t know much about this)
I am so sorry you have this hardship to endure as well as having your husband in such a poorly way.

gillybob Tue 26-Nov-19 22:52:54

Oh Lucky I really don’t know what to say.

How can they put you through this ? Marydoll is spot on. It was a heartless and cruel letter.

Forgive me I know nothing, but something doesn’t seem right. If “their ceiling” is £573 why are they not contributing this to the home of your choice? Why just £238 ?

It seems that only the rich elderly can expect to live (and die) in dignity these days. angry and sad

Bellanonna Tue 26-Nov-19 22:55:15

I feel so angry for you Lucky 😡

Luckygirl Tue 26-Nov-19 23:01:01

Their ceiling is £573, but they take my OH's pension from him so they pay only the £238. They get you all ways round.

If they dragged him out to one of the homes under their ceiling, OH would still have to give them his pension.

And he loses his attendance allowance too.

I know the rules and I am trying not to get angry about them; but I was furious when they sent such a thoughtlessly inhumane letter. I felt I wanted to to drag them to his bedside and force them to see the reality of what our lives have become. And make them stop and think about how they are compounding an already sad situation.

morethan2 Tue 26-Nov-19 23:04:19

This is just so awful. I wish there was something we could do to help. Your right how can this happen in a civilised society.

gillybob Tue 26-Nov-19 23:12:29

So basically their so called ceiling is actually £238 ?

DH’s pension makes up the rest .

How cruel would it be to put him through a move like this ? How upsetting for you too Lucky .

Those that make these heartless rules will never find themselves in the same position though will they ?

Callistemon Tue 26-Nov-19 23:13:52

I don't know what to say but this just sounds so heartless.

I thought you had not long moved with all the expense it entails; is there any way you can raise a loan (I wouldn't recommend equity release at all) so that you can concentrate on your DH and his wellbeing, and yours too, for the time being? That way you wouldn't have the upheaval and dreadful worry of trying to move again at least just yet.

Callistemon Tue 26-Nov-19 23:18:09

Have they interpreted the rules correctly?

If they paid their upper limit, then your DH's pension was paid direct to the home on top of that, your contribution would be more manageable.

Surely this can't be right?

SueDonim Tue 26-Nov-19 23:19:50

shock That's beyond belief, though of course I totally believe you. sad

Do you feel strong enough to go to the newspapers about this?

Hetty58 Tue 26-Nov-19 23:24:15

They are trying it on - it's what they do. They cannot demand a top up - it's voluntary. Speak to the home manager and contact a specialist solicitor (with no win no fees, like Farley Dwek) to apply for free NHS continuing care.

annsixty Tue 26-Nov-19 23:24:34

Luckygirl they can only take half your H's private pension, all his state pension and yes, you lose AA.
AS tried to tell me they could take all my H's private pension ,rwivpce.
Twice I told them they were not allowed and got the appropriate Age Concern leaflets.
They had to say I was right.

annsixty Tue 26-Nov-19 23:26:23

SS not AS

Hetty58 Wed 27-Nov-19 00:16:48

If you are self-funding (have no LA contribution) then you continue to receive Attendance Allowance. The value of your home cannot be taken into account if a relative, aged 60+ lives there.

Different rules apply to temporary and permanent residents. You can be temporary for up to one year and it's often an advantage.

What happens: the NHS tries to offload responsibility to the LA - who try to make you pay. That's why you need the solicitor - who can reclaim funds, even to your estate!

NHS continuing care:

www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/money-work-and-benefits/nhs-continuing-healthcare/

Challenging a local authority:

www.which.co.uk/later-life-care/carers-and-caring/making-a-complaint/challenging-a-local-authority-decision-agtrl6d372y2

Fiachna50 Wed 27-Nov-19 01:11:39

I think I would be paying a visit to the local MP and take the letter with you. That's terrible.

Hetty58 Wed 27-Nov-19 01:38:53

And another thing (sorry) I would advise against selling your home. If it's jointly owned, he'll become responsible for paying all his fees with no contribution from the LA!

grannyactivist Wed 27-Nov-19 01:46:13

Oh Lucky - it just goes on and on for you - I'm so sorry! Please do ensure that you have the correct advice and information. If you do need to employ a solicitor to help they will sometimes agree to attach a lien to your home so the payment doesn't actually get made until after your home is sold. flowers

Sara65 Wed 27-Nov-19 06:29:04

I know how you feel, we used all of my mother in laws savings on her home, we then set about selling her retirement apartment (at a massive loss) with us trying to keep the payments up in between, when the sale fell through, social services eventually said they would pay, but on the sale of her apartment it had to be repaid. She died with nothing, I don’t know what would have happened if my father in law was still alive, he’d have been homeless and destitute.

JenniferEccles Wed 27-Nov-19 08:37:53

They can’t compel you to sell your house as you are living there.

My understanding is that you have to pay the top up until your savings drop to around £23,000 at which point the state steps in.

It’s a terribly unfair situation which Boris has vowed he will put an end to.

Let’s hope he keeps his word.

The unfairness is compounded by the fact that those who have squandered their money all their lives or who have sponged off the state, pay nothing.

Iam64 Wed 27-Nov-19 08:43:17

Luckygirl, so sorry that you're sadness, stress and struggles continue.
Hetty58 seems to be more up to date than we retired former sw are. I agree with the suggestion you don't sell your house and also that you take the letter to your MP.
My experience in l.a. (and I'm sure yours as well) was that a letter to the Director from an MP = instant action and usually apologies, plus a re-evaluation of the situation
It is of course infuriating that those of us who saved towards our pensions and were lucky enough to buy a house feel punished when we're in need.

dragonfly46 Wed 27-Nov-19 08:50:08

I have just seen this Lucky, so sorry you have received such an inhumane letter. We were cheated out of thousands of pounds by the LA because I filled out a form wrongly for my dad. They grasp at straws to save money.

I have no faith that Boris or any of the other clowns will improve matters.