Updated: Apr 21
A recent ruling by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has reiterated the test that local authorities should apply when deciding if an asset such as a property has been purposely gifted to deprive assets.
Current Legislation (Care Act 2014) states if someone has capital assets over the upper capital limit (currently £23,250), they are expected to pay the full cost of their residential care home fees. If their capital is below this, then the local authority will contribute towards their care costs.
When undertaking or reviewing a financial assessment, a local authority may identify circumstances that suggest a person may have deliberately deprived themselves of assets to reduce the level of the contribution towards the cost of their care.
In the case Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council (19 014 246), the Ombudsman found fault lay with the local authority. That local authority was required to apply a three-part test when deciding whether a deprivation of assets had occurred.
The Ombudsman identifies this test as:
If avoiding paying for care fees was a significant motivating factor
Whether a need for care was foreseeable
Whether a need to pay for care was foreseeable
We have specially created an assessment service to provide evidence of your decision making when making any large gift, that could be deemed as a deprivation of assets later down the road.
We complete an adult social care assessment in-line with the Care Act (2014) to identify your care needs at the specific time of making the gift, this way evidencing whether a need for care was foreseeable and thus whether a need to pay for care was foreseeable.
We also complete a financial decision tracker interview, specifically for the transaction at hand to ensure that the decision was made autonomy and the reasoning behind the decision.
Finally, we can complete a mental capacity assessment specifically concerning the gift, evidencing a person's mental capacity to gift. Additionally, we are also able to complete a Montreal Cognitive Assessment, at no additional cost, to evidence whether any cognitive impairments were impacting upon your decision making.
This comprehensive set of reports establishes your current care needs and maps your decision-making process, giving you all the evidence to better protect your decision making later down the road.