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Thread: Odd Question regarding care funding

  1. #1
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    Odd Question regarding care funding

    I'm not really sure if this id the right place to ask for advice.

    My late mother had dementia and was placed into care home. This was approx 2009. She died in Oct 2013. She was fully funded as she had no savings or assets and her only income was her state pension and attendance allowance. She originally went into emergency care as my father could no longer cope looking after her at home and attempted suicide. She ended up staying in care as it was deemed the best option. There was a lot of delays and forgetfulness in terms of sorting out her affairs on the part of Adult services. My father wasn't able to take this on and I was quite ill with both a mental health issue and cancer. I was advised (independently) that if my mother had no assets/property to not take on appointee ship. In the end a social worker became appointee (eventually) and arranged her financial affairs. Her pension and attendance allowance had not been touched in the period where no one was appointee and remained just mounting up in a post office account which adult services then took control of and used towards the cost of her care.

    I received a letter out if the blue on the 2nd of Oct from West Sussex County Council saying that my mother had money in an account with the co op bank. This is just over £5,000 worth. I was not aware of this and was not informed by adult services that this money existed when she died. They also attached a letter/email which states that my mother still owes a debt of around £18,000. I have been advised to contact the bank, withdraw the £5,000 and then contact WSCC to enter into discussions with them.

    I have 2 major issues with this. One, my mother should have received a personal allowance for toiletries, haircuts, podiatry, etc.. of £20 ish pounds a week - she never received this money during all the time she was in care (I wasn't aware at the time she was entitled to it). So all theses expenses were paid for my myself or my father direct to the care home or in the case of toiletries we would pay for them and bring them in. I suspect this is what this £5,000 pounds is - my mothers personal allowance that was never passed on to her, the care home or us.

    The second issue is my mother should not have £18,000 of debt in terms of care as she never paid for care. She was fully funded and her only contribution was her state pension (and I guess attendance allowance) all of which was received by WSCC and in their control.

    I'm not really sure where I stand with this situation. I have not been to the bank to withdraw the money but if I do so I do not feel automatically inclined to pay it to WSCC. For these reasons: a) where is my mothers personal allowance? - surely they owe me (my father has since passed away) this money? b) my mother should have no debt and c) had I or my father been informed that my mother had any saved money when she passed away this would have been used towards her funeral costs which instead we had to find the money for ourselves.


    I've asked AGE UK for advice but the lady i've been referred to is very slow on getting back to me so I still have no idea where I stand.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    This seems to be an issue with who should pay for care funding, it's not unusual.

    While I can't realy help with the particalurs of your case, I would not agree to pay them anything at all before checking it all out.

    I'm sure that the AgeUK lady will know about this (she should) but ask her about the "Coughlan and Grogan cases".

    These are famous court cases that are used as test cases for this type of issue where the council is trying to take money for care.
    Often just the mention of these cases will get the council to back down and go away.

    The councils hope that you don't know about these cases because if you do, and take it to court and win, then the council could owe you money.

    Both cases were about just who should pay for care, the NHS or the patients own money.
    (Actually they are about whether the NHS or the council Social Services should pay, but the SS then take the patients money whereas the NHS can't).
    https://caretobedifferent.co.uk/the-...ntinuing-care/

    If the council did not properly assess your mother for care, bearing in mind the principles of those cases, then they were in the wrong.
    As said often the very mention of those cases gets them running away scared.

    I personally know 3 people who the council wanted to sell their houses to fund ongoing care, mention of 'Coughlan and Grogan' in letters nipped that in the bud, they kept their houses and NHS funded their care.
    Last edited by nukecad; 10-19-2018 at 03:13 PM. Reason: speeling mistooks
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    Thanks nukecad

    The Age UK lady and I keep missing each others phone calls so as she's going on holiday she's written down advice in a letter that she hopes will help, I should get it in the next couple of days.

    Thanks for the info on "Coughlan and Grogan cases" I'll keep it in mind.

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    Oh well so much for AGE UK. Letter just directed me to CAB for advice and possibly legal aid.

    Guess I'm off to the CAB on Monday.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I was talking about this in the pub yesterday.

    An aquaintance yesterday who's mother died last year told me her story.
    The mother had been in a care home for the previous six months, and the council were 'demanding' that the family to sell her (unoccupied at the time) house to pay for that care.

    Her (AgeUK) advisor was clued up and wrote the council a letter asking if they had considered 'Coughlan and Grogan' when allocating care funding, the council dropped all 'demands'.

    (So that's now 4 that I know of personally).

    Sorry to hear that your AgeUK branch seem to be having problems.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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  6. #6
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    Thanks for the info I will mention the case law you've mentioned when I go to my next appointment.

    I dropped into the CAB today. Because the council have sent me little information he has told me to hold off doing anything with the account. I've got an appointment with someone more senior at the CAB for the 1st week of November. In the mean time he's asked me to try and get some information from the care home (clarify dates etc) and from the bank (if possible) - when was the account opened, who was receiving the statements, how was the money built up over time, where from etc..

    They may sign post me to a more specific adviser or a solicitor. Will have to see how the next appointment goes.

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