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I need advice, please help. - Carers UK Forum

I need advice, please help.

All about money

My mum lives in a council house which I live in too as I care for her full time. I have thought about buying it under the 'right to buy' scheme (to which she & I are entitled). The thing is she receives a rebate on the amount she has to pay for the care agency who come in to get her in/out of bed etc. This rebate is based upon her savings, would this be affected in anyway if she bought the house - actually I would be paying for it & would buy it outright - would it mean that she would receive no financial help towards at home care costs?

BTW I don't want to stick my head above the parapet & talk to the council until I have an idea what to expect.

Hi Rob, welcome to the forum. Before the council make any charges for "home care" they have to do a financial assessment, and mum should have received a copy of how her contribution was calculated. They will look at both income and savings, and then work out whether mum has to pay everything, or just a portion towards her care. So perhaps the word "rebate" is a bit misleading, better to think of what mum pays as her contribution. My mum only paid a contribution towards her care, because I made absolutely certain that her assessed savings never went over the threshold of around £20,000. Some years ago, for various reasons, mum changed her Halifax account from her sole name into our joint names, which meant that Social Services could only count half the savings as mum's. In reality, they were entirely made up of her DLA payments. If your mum's savings go down, then her contribution towards her care goes down. Clients, i.e. mum, are not allowed to try and avoid paying by squandering or giving away money, BUT it is quite in order for mum to pay you for specific things you do for her. It's OK for her to buy a new carpet if the old one was getting unsafe, or to pay for redecorating a room, etc. However, you need to think carefully about who is actually going to buy the house, and who is going to own it. If mum uses her savings to buy the house then her savings will go down, but her outgoings will also go down, as she will no longer be paying rent. However, if you buy the house, then her savings will stay the same, but you could expect her to pay towards her housing. It might be worth being joint owners. This is quite a complex issue, you MUST consult both a solicitor and also I'd suggest ringing the Carers UK helpline. Perhaps one of the most important things to consider, is that if you live together and buy the house jointly, then mum's share of the house is safe from SSD financial assessments if she should need to go into residential care at a later date.
Thanks ever so much for your comprehensive reply. Under the RTB scheme (my mum being the tenant) while the purchase would be under joint names, with mum main the purchaser - although she would pay nothing. I was curious to know whether property was taken into consideration by Social Services when calculating payments for home care & if anyone here had experience of such?

BTW I've been a member for a while but could not log in because the system kept rejecting my passwords, when I changed it it still wouldn't let me log in more than once! However the matter has now been sorted out by the Carers UK team.
No, the value of the property will not be taken into consideration BUT remember that mum will no longer be paying rent, so that could give her more "disposable income", and in turn that would mean she might have to contribute more towards her care. On the other hand, if she had less capital then she wouldn't be earning an income from that capital. LA assessments work on "notional" interest, which you might not be able to get anywhere at all!! So be sure and get a copy of mum's last financial assessment and then think about all the issues. I'm a great fan of writing things down, then writing the pros and cons. To my way of thinking it would be better to put the savings in property as the property goes up in value and then SSD couldn't force the sale of the property should mum ever need nursing care, as you are living there. But that's just my own view. You must work out what is best for your own set of circumstances.