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Deprivation Of Assets

“I have already recommended you, and would always recommend you to anyone seeking advice regarding the funding of care homes, deprivation of assets, etc, and rules relating to power of attorneys.”

Planning & paying for care

Caroline W

What is deprivation of assets?

Deprivation of assets is where a person intentionally deprives themselves of or decreases their assets to reduce the amount they are charged for their care.

It is common for people to give money or assets to family members at any stage in their life. However, if a gift or transfer of assets occurs when a person expects they may need care and support in the future, this can cause problems.

When might there be concerns that there has been a deprivation of assets?

When a person asks Social Services to help arrange or pay for their care and support needs, Social Services carry out a financial assessment. This is sometimes known as a means test for paying for care.

Social Services will look at the person’s income and capital to decide how much they have to pay towards their care costs at home or in a care home.

They will ask to see bank statements and ask about property ownership. If they see significant transfers or reductions in assets, Social Services may allege that there has been a deprivation of assets to avoid paying for care. Social Services say this when they think that the gift or transfer was made so that the person’s assets drop to £23,250 sooner so that they qualify for social care funding.

Consequences of concerns of deliberate deprivation

If Social Services believe deliberate deprivation has occurred, they will include the value of the assets that are no longer owned when carrying out the financial assessment.

This means that someone who needs care and support can be told they don’t qualify for Social Services funding, even if they no longer have enough money to pay for their care.

If Social Services believe that the gift or transfer was made to protect family inheritance, they can refuse to pay any of the care costs and take action to recover the asset from the person who received the gift.

Is every gift or transfer a deprivation?

No.

Social Services sometimes make allegations of deprivation of assets which are unreasonable or inaccurate in the individual circumstances. It is quite common for Social Services to make an assumption about deprivation without considering the factors that are set out in law and guidance such as:

  • The length of time since the gift was made
  • The real intentions of the person making the gift
  • The nature and extent of the person’s care needs before and after they made the gift
  • Whether there was a pattern of gifting
  • The needs of the person who received the gift.

Getting the right legal advice

Expert Community Care Law advice should be sought at an early stage. This will ensure that you have the right information about gifting and deprivation of assets law so that you or your family do not face problems when you need Social Services financial assistance to pay for your care.

If you or your family are already facing deprivation allegations, it’s important to make contact with a lawyer as soon as possible.

Our Community Care Law team will:

  • Advise whether you have grounds to challenge the Council’s decision, and the likely prospects of success
  • Challenge Social Services on your behalf
  • Liaise with the Local Authority to try and reduce any debt.

Our team has a strong track record of successfully overturning negative deprivation decisions.

If Social Services have wrongly found that you or a relative has deliberately deprived themselves of assets, we can provide specialist advice and representation.

If you or your family require specialist Community Care Law advice on deprivation of assets, please contact us on 01273 609911, or email info@ms-solicitors.co.uk to see how our Education and Community Care Law team can help.

 

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