What happens to my money, home and pets when I go into hospital?
Going into hospital can affect your money in a number of ways. You may find that:
- Your income will drop,
- You can’t afford all of your bills and you fall into debt,
- Your benefit entitlement changes, or
- Your doctor thinks that you can’t make money decisions for yourself; this is called not having ‘mental capacity’ and if you can’t make decisions, someone else might have to do this for you.
If you live alone, you can ask a trusted person to keep an eye on your home when you are in hospital, taking care of practical jobs such as mowing your lawn and watering your garden. They can even switch lights on in your home at night to make it look like the property isn’t vacant for security reasons, and can bring your post to the hospital.
You might be with a mental health team and have a support worker and in which case, you can ask your support worker to do the things above for you and they may be able to help.
If you own your own home, you should check your insurance policy as some policies say that you can't leave your property vacant for over a set period of time, such as three months, so you might need to contact your insurers about this.
If you live alone and have pets, but you don’t have a trusted person who can look after them, you can search the Internet for local companies who can do things like house your pets in kennels or walk your dog for you, or alternatively, you can contact your local council. The council has an obligation to look after your pets while you are in hospital, but they might charge you for this service.
For advice, contact:
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA)
Advice line: 0300 123 4555 (Mon-Fri 9.00am-5.00pm)