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Carers UK Forum • Social Services Assesment
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Social Services Assesment

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:27 pm
by Matt_1701
Hi Folks,
My mums house is in joint names with myself (for 17 years), I spend half the week at my girlfriends and do have another house where I have spent only a few days there in the last year due to mum and I spend the other half of the week at my mum's to keep an eye on her and give her some company. We are waiting to get a memory clinic appointment as she clearly has memory/dementia issues but I had social services around last week to get a little help on the days I am not here.

The first question from social services was do you own your house, to which we replied it is joint names and the last question was do you have assets over 25k which she does not. I did ask if this was an NHS Health Care assessment but he replied that is only for palliative care. Eventually we decided to have somebody pop in the days i am not there to check she is up to date with pills etc. and point her to bathroom to wash etc. He was very keen to get the form signed on the day, not sure if there was something underlying by doing that.

However I am a little concerned should she go into a home (hopefully not for a very long time) they will try to force me to sell the house. Can they do that as I am her son and only 47? I never see dependants mentioned in these cases, only scenarios where the couples are married which obviously we are not.

I would refuse to sell my half if it came to it but can i protect myself any more than this or will they just take it anyway as part of her estate. I did try to contact a solicitor last year but because of her memory issues they weren't very interested.

My mum would be very unhappy at the prospect of the government taking away the estate she has built up over her lifetime, hence my search for answers.

Many Thanks,
Matt

Re: Social Services Assesment

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:41 pm
by Henrietta
Hi Matt
I have looked into this as the same age as yourself and live with Dad , who in my case still owns 100% of house :(
It seems the house will in deed be taken into account , although there are recent changes to the law meaning the house need not be sold until after someone has passed away if a dependant is living there as their main home, it can be deferred until probate is being sorted. I'm not clear from your post if you have a main residence of your own besides your girlfriend's house? If so you would need to check if this would still apply to yourself.
I'm also not sure where you stand owning half of it yourself. I don't see how you could be forced to sell your share, nor how they could sell the other half without you budging.
I would recommend you copy your enquiry above into an email and ask for some personal advice from the CUK help line .
Here is the link.
http://www.carersuk.org/about-us/contact-us

Re: Social Services Assesment

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:58 pm
by bowlingbun
Social Services are not always honest and truthful about the rules and regulations. When my mum went into residential care I managed to get £8,000 refunded, but only because I knew the rules and would not be brow beaten by the miserable senior social worker I went to see in Winchester!
Social Services should do a proper financial assessment before making any charges for domiciliary or residential care, and at the end of the assessment, give you a copy of how they worked out any contribution mum might have to make (usually a portion of any disability benefit).
Regardless of assets, the social worker should have done a thorough Needs Assessment for mum, and a Carers Assessment for you, and subsequently send you both draft copies for your approval. Did any of this happen? If mum has memory problems, she might be totally exempt from Council Tax on the grounds of "severe mental impairment". Check with the LA. Is mum claiming Attendance Allowance? Are you getting Carers Allowance, if you are under pension age with no other income? Has mum signed a Power of Attorney in your favour? If not, arrange this asap. Does mum give you anything for the care you provide? It's quite in order and a good way of getting the assets down. After all, if she has memory problems it would cost around £800 - £1,000 a week. It is permitted for you to buy things mum needs, for example to keep my mum's savings down she bought a new lounge carpet, and an adjustable bed.