Shears - Home Support & Relocation

Shears' News: 2017

Council Tax Rebates  [4th October 2017]

Although we often hear about the millions of pounds of pension credit going unclaimed each year, there are other entitlements, again often unclaimed, which we do not hear about. One of these is the Council Tax rebate for those clinically diagnosed with a severe mental impairment (SMI). But thanks to Martin Lewis and his team at MoneySavingExpert.com, people are finally being made aware of it and Councils now have to get their house in order to support people wishing to make such claims. The starting point is that in England anyone with a severe mental impairment, such as dementia, is disregarded for council tax purposes. This means that they can claim 100% refund if they live alone or any single person can claim the 25% single person discount if they live with someone with a diagnosis. There may be implications too for carers. As the attached article from the MoneySavingExpert.com website explains, different Councils appear to be interpreting the law differently, but the eligibility criteria are clear and Councils should be challenged. Where Shears has made such claims for clients, rebates have been backdated to the time of SMI diagnosis and involved several thousands of pounds. So it is well worth exploring if you think you or a family member may be entitled to such a rebate. For more information go to the Alzheimers Society website or read the MSE.com's article here:
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Beware of care home contracts  [25th August 2017]

With the finances of care homes being squeezed due to decreased Local Authority funding vs. increased staffing costs, insolvencies in the care home sector are outstripping all other sectors. Little wonder then that some homes are using self-funders to plug the gap, by for example charging them 'on average 43% more than state-funded residents ... for the same level of care' or charging large deposits / cancellation fees. While the Competition and Markets Authority is now investigating such practices, many families are still having to make quick and ill-informed decisions about a home and in some cases are being rushed into unfair contracts. Our advice is to take your time and check the wording carefully, especially for any unfair or unequitable clauses, which will render it illegal. If you are not happy, do not sign and use the trial period to flush out any concerns, seeking amendments where necessary. For some general tips too, the Which consumer guide may also prove a useful starting point:
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