Councils clamp down on care home ‘fee dodgers’

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Councils are using their powers to clamp down on people who have given away their assets to dodge care home fees, according to new research.

The Daily Telegraph analysed how eight councils have used their powers to reclaim money from residents who have deprived themselves of assets to bring the below the value of £23,250 required to qualify for state aid.

Steven Cameron, a care expert at insurer Aegon said: “A few years ago it was highly unlikely that a council would have paid much attention to people who gave away assets to avoid paying.

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“But with the care crisis getting worse daily and with more public interest in getting out of paying for care by giving away assets, the attention councils will pay is certain to increase considerably.”

While councils look set to increasingly use their claw back powers, their record so far in reclaiming money has been patchy.

North Somerset was found to have used its powers the most, recording 64 ‘deprivation’ cases since 2012, equivalent to £1.3m in assets.

North London Borough of Camden had the second highest number of cases at 14, worth a total value of £158,000.

The London Boroughs of Westminster and Southwark, however, had recorded no cases.

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