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Advice needed urgently

Sue52 Member Posts: 78 Courageous
Good morning all, 

Hope you are all well. I really need some advice urgently. Not for myself but for a lady that came into our Hub today who is desperate for help. I do not want to advise her wrongly so am asking all you lovely people
She was very distressed when she came in and that is why I really want to help her.

She is 70 years old. Husband is in and out of hospital and has now been diagnosed with Vascular Dementia. 
She lost her job a while ago and is not claiming any benefits. I do not know if she has savings or anything at this stage. I do know that if she has above £16000 then she needs to use those funds.  She is poorly herself but has had her carer taken away as she is still mobile. 
Can anyone advise what benefits she would be entitled to. 
Would I be correct in saying to her that her husband can claim Attendance Allowance but not if he is in hospital on a long stay.
She has not got a Power of Attorney in place but is aware she needs to do it as soon as possible
Any advice would be great. She is coming back in to see me on Monday and I would really like to help her 
Best Wishes


  • [Deleted User]
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  • Sue52
    Sue52 Member Posts: 78 Courageous
    Hi @Victoriad

    I have advised her that they would give her all the legal advice. Here where I am I can only point her in the right direction. 
    She cannot get a appointment at the local CAB for nearly two weeks, so just thought I could maybe find out lots of different information for her so she knows what she needs to enquire about. 
    Many thanks for your reply 
    Best Wishes
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  • dottydotty
    dottydotty Member Posts: 297 Pioneering

    Maybe ring DWP and apply for the Attendance Allowance .That way  she can have  the forms in time for CAB appointment ,

  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2018

    A benefits advisor is likely to answer your questions before long.
  • jamie1965
    jamie1965 Member Posts: 85 Courageous
    I am in social housing and when I became ill contacted them about my situation to my surprise they had advisors on staff to help they helped me get benefits and can to my first assessment with me they said that the local council also have advisors so may be worth while contacting them to see if there is help they can give also adult services 
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering

    You can use the benefits calculator, but to start you off, & because it's hard to use the calculator when someone is in hospital, here's some advice.

    First of all, both this lady & her partner may get some retirement pension. I'd ask her about both state retirement pension, and any other occupational or personal pensions they get. 

    Attendance allowance for partner - it sounds as if he might qualify, but he could be affected by the hospital in-patient rules. These have a rule about AA not being payable if you are an in-patient for 28 days. Then there are linking rules. If he is out of hospital for less than 28 days, then the days that he is in link together - meaning he may already have been in hospital for more than the 28 days because he hasn't been out for long enough to break the link.

    If he's in hospital when he makes the claim, he can't be paid until he leaves, but he can then be paid for the full 28 days if he comes out, AA starts, and he then returns to hospital (even if he is out for less than 28 days). 

    The day he goes into hospital and the day he comes out do not count as a day as an in-patient.

    You're absolutely right that she needs advice re power of attorney.

    She may also be entitled to attendance allowance herself, as it's paid for care needs, not for mobility, and it doesn't matter whether she has a carer or not.

    Then there is Pension Credit (PC). If they claim this at the moment, they will still count as a couple. It's only if they are likely to be separated for more than 52 weeks, or substantially longer, that she would be assessed as a single person.

    I'd advise claiming this. She can claim it even if she has £16,000 in capital, but she will be treated as having income from the capital (this is because the rules are different for people of pension credit age). If either she, or her husband, get AA, she should let the DWP though as this can affect the amount of PC they get (it can only increase it, not decrease it).

    She may count as a carer herself if her partner is home for long enough to establish this. She won't be able to get carer's allowance (CA) if her state retirement pension is higher, but being a carer could, again, increase the amount of PC they get. Whether she cares for him for 35 hours a week will of course depend on what she is able to do, and she should certainly have a social services assessment for both herself and her partner if he is going to be living at home.

    Finally, I would look into Housing Benefit if they pay rent. Again, until he is expected to be apart from her for more than 52 weeks, they can claim this as a couple. Maximum Housing Benefit (still not necessarily as much as their rent) will be payable if they get the guarantee credit of PC, otherwise, partial help is possible.
    Council tax reduction may also apply - full help if they get the guarantee credit of PC, and otherwise, partial help.
    For HB and CTR the £16,000 capital limit may be an issue, but not if they get the guarantee credit of PC.

    If they don't pay rent but a mortgage, then PC can include help with mortgage interest, but this help is due to change from part of the benefit to a repayable loan from April 2018. She doesn't have to take this loan if she decides not to.

    If her partner goes into a care home, all the advice is slightly different. I do recommend making an appointment with the CAB or with local Age UK anyway, to go over all this again, as it's complicated and they can make sure the advice is tailored to her situation. Or, as Jamie says, social housing do often have welfare rights advisers attached, as do some (but not all) councils - have a look on the housing association or council website if this applies.


    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • Sue52
    Sue52 Member Posts: 78 Courageous
    Hi Will, 
    Thank you so much for your advice. Gilda came into the shop today. I will print this of and give it to her. She is going to go to the CAB on Wednesday 
    many thanks again 

  • sarahD80
    sarahD80 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Definitely go to the C.A.B. There brilliant and will help you all the way................
    Fingers crossed and I hope sincerely wish you all the best. 


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