Residential care - what happens when your money runs out?!

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
70 posts
Hi, I know there is a lower threshold of savings (I think I've read here that it's something like £23k) below which the elderly don't have to go. Ie, if they have more than £23k they have to use it to pay for care.

But what happens when they are down to that £23 limit? Does the state then take over paying the fees (taking your pension to do so, OK, but of course a pension alone ain't gonna pay care home fees which are usually as much per week as a pension is per month!)?
And can you stay in your 'private' care home or do you get transferred to some not-so-nice council home (eg, if you are in, say three star accommodation, does the council move you down to budget one star?!)

Many thanks, and just trying to look ahead! Jenny.
I understand that the state does step in at that point, Jenny. Whether the person stays in the same care home depends on whether it is one that is already on the relevant council's list of approved facilities in their area.
My husband is some way off this point at the moment, so I don't know all the details. I expect someone here can give you a more authoritative reply.

Tristesa
Tristesa, thank you - guess I need to check with any potential care homes what their policy is in this respect, and what their connection with the council is.
I've just done the financial assessment on mum's behalf this week. I was advised (off the record) to get it in writing from the home BEFORE mum was admitted, that if her money ran out they would then keep mum, and the council would take over. What I think is really, really unfair is that the homes have two rates, one for self funders, one for the LA/NHS. The self funders pay more because the state funded customers pay less.
If the person you care for has savings the person will fund the care till it gets below the amount then funding can be applied for also remember that if the savings is joint it's half each so that can take you below the threshold so funding will be put in place once you have proof of bank statements if you self fund you still get attendance allowance but once funding is in place then it stops as for pension they take it away had all this with my father inlaw he has got chc funding despite savings and he below anyway as it's a joint account they have took his attendance allowance back his pension and works pension off him
We have now reached this point, as Dad has been in his care home for nearly 1 year and his savings have dropped below £23K, so I am trying to obtain social care funding for him. I rang social services 6 weeks ago and they advised that a social worker would be allocated, then an assessment would be done, following which their finance dept will make a decision about the funding. Despite several phone calls chasing them up they have still not even allocated a social worker to the case, let alone started assessing him! :angry:

Social services keep muttering about their funding cap and how any amount above that is 'the responsibility of the family to pay'. I keep explaining that my mother is on a low pension and is using her savings to fund her own care at home, so she cannot possibly afford top up fees, but they keep saying the same lines, like they're on auto pilot! :angry: I finished the call by telling them that if they don't allocate a social worker within the next 2 weeks I will get a specialist solicitor on the case. Hell, it looks like I might need to, anyway, because there's no way my mother can afford £10K top up fees and if they move Dad somewhere else it could have a dire affect on him (dementia is hard enough without being uprooted). I'm permanently anxious now. :(
Shewolf,
The rules for this are contained in some thing called CRAG - this stands for Charging for residential care Guide. You can find it on the internst. The LA should have done a Continuing Healthcare Assessment before any admission, regardless of whether or not they thought he would qualify, as it's not their de ision to make. You shouls ask for a CHC assessment now - if eligible care is free, no financial assmt needed. Otherwise, SSD must pay - and should refund any fees paid once his savings went below the threshold. It is unlaeful to set a threshold - I've just had a large refund from mum's LA having fought this battle. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES SIGN A FORM saying you will pay a top up. It has also been established that moving someone is not in their
Moving someone is not in a persons best interests. Michael Mandestams book, Community Care, Practice, and the law deals with these issues, if you
can face a text book. I would suggest sending a letter to your Social Services Complaints Department, saying there is no more money and they must act immediately to protect a vulnerable sdult. Send it recorded delivery. Your local Citizens Advice or Disability Advice centre might be able to help, depending on where you live.
Thanks BB. I doubt very much that he'd qualify for CHC as his medical issues are not that bad, so it's more a case of social care funding in his case.

SS did not bother to do a full assessment of his needs before he was admitted last year - as soon as they heard he would be self funding they weren't interested. They even muttered that his health might improve after being in the care home a while, so by the time we apply for funding they might say he can come home, with a support package! Since when has dementia improved over time?!? Anyway, I'm sure they will drag their heels for as long as possible, but that just gives me more time to find the right solicitor to fight our corner. They'll find that the less they co-operate with me, the more difficult and stubborn I will be, and the more sleep I lose over this issue, the more hassle I'll give them. Anyway, I'm a legal secretary, so have learned a few things about presenting watertight cases.
Social Services appear to have been negligent in failing to follow proper procedures regarding admission. They appear to have assumed his financial situation, rather than conducting a formal financial assessment. He might have had over £23,000 when he was admitted, but as a married man, it is possible that only half of that should have been taken into consideration. Have a look at the CRAG regulations. It would be quicker and easier to get them to admit they've not followed procedures rather than going down the solicitor route, that can be used later.
70 posts