Brother won't claim

Long story which I won’t go into but the facts are: my brother is 64, lives with my mother in her 90s and claims carer’s allowance, he doesn’t pay any food, rent, bills etc. He has no other money other than a small pension which is £1000 per year. I had to force him to claim the carer’s allowance and do the claim for him (mainly as I was worried about his state pension and NI contributions). This situation has gone on for a long time.

Last year he was very ill, not expected to live; did live, now has cancer, coming to the end of 6 months of chemo, we don’t know the outcome but consultant is not hopeful. He is now too ill to get a job. He got through all his savings a long time ago. He still won’t claim any money, won’t talk to anyone, if we try to bring up the subject he goes mad and says he’ll be dead soon etc.

I am worried that if my mother dies he will be penniless. Obviously he will inherit a share of her money/house but he doesn’t seem to realise that probate will take a long time - so I don’t know how he’d live or eat unless I support him.

Currently my mother also really needs a contribution to the cost of his bills as he eats a lot and owing to his illness, he will insist on the heating being on a high temperature this winter as he feels the cold. I did some calculators which basically said he could claim money but he would need to be assessed and talk to someone. He won’t speak or engage with anyone. (When he was discharged from hospital they sent occupational health round to assess the house for railings, bath aids etc. He denied he had any problems, insisted he didn’t need anything so they left. He did need help but won’t admit it.)

No-one can have a reasonable serious conversation with him. He just gets in a rage, swears, goes completely mad, then sulks and sometimes refuses to eat or speak for days. We have tried so many times to see if he would claim anything, make him understand that he should be contributing but as we know what the result will be, we always give up to keep the peace.

Is there anything we can do? Thank you.

Has your brother always lived with mum? Ever worked? Why doesn’t mum insist?
He would be entitled to disability benefits, so I don’t understand why he won’t claim anything. Very difficult.
If it’s just too much effort, you could ask him if he’d like you to deal with it yourself, becoming his DWP Appointee.

Hi Claire. Unfortunately if he won’t engage with people and has capacity to make that decision, you’re pretty much stuck, I’m afraid. I’ve come across this sort of thing before and there is no way round it unless you can show that he’s not capable of making the decision in the right way - not that he’s making the wrong decision, which is another matter. And then he would have to be assessed by professionals, who he likely wouldn’t engage with on the grounds that he’s “fine.”

If your Mum isn’t insisting, it’s probably her view that - despite any possible money worries she might have - she owes your brother for his caring, or possibly that she’s afraid he will refuse to care for her.

If he won’t talk about it, I don’t think there’s a lot you can do except perhaps try to put it in writing to him. And I’d be surprised if he’d read it all through or act on it, if I’m honest.

The only other thing I can suggest is that if you are able to talk to his consultant about whether or not the Special Rules may apply for PIP. For those, which mean life expectancy is likely to be less than 6 months, there are no assessments involved and a full award is made with very little paperwork.

I’m really sorry I can’t suggest anything better, and I understand how difficult your situation is. (((hugs)))

Yes you could apply secretly anyway.

Thara, you cannot apply on behalf of anyone else unless you are their appointee or have Power of Attorney.

It is possible if there’s a Special Rules application - sometimes people don’t know they are in a terminal situation and people can apply on their behalf under those circumstances. It’s rare but I can think of a few people who had this.