THOUSANDS of families are missing out on refunds for care home fees worth millions of pounds caused by blunders by local NHS Trusts.
However, the clock is ticking warn legal experts at Farley Dwek Solicitors.
A deadline of 31st March 2013 has been set by the Department of Health for families to lodge a claim to recover care home fees spent between 1st April 2011 and 31st March 2012.
Some families have recovered more than £100,000 in fees wrongly paid by elderly relatives.
The average cost of a care home is £750 per week and many victims of the blunder had to sell their home or use their inheritance to pay the cost. Alarmingly even family members who kept appealing the initial decision and were rejected again and again – have now been told they were entitled to funding after all.
Andrew Farley of Farley Dwek Solicitors explains:
“We estimate the Government had earmarked at least £50m for the relatives of victims. If your relative was rejected for funding on financial eligibility alone then they should challenge the decision immediately. We’re handling more than 250 cases and we believe it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“Our advice is not to go to NHS Trust or the care home directly because the clock is ticking and application process is hugely complex. You should seek specialist legal advice immediately if you think you qualify.”
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What’s the big issue?
- The NHS has admitted that mistakes were made and thousands of people were forced to pay for their care home fees when they should have received funding form the NHS.
- The Government has set a deadline of March 31st 2013 to lodge a claim.
- Average refunds have been £50,000 and include interest
- Many people have had to sell their home to pay for care
- Many families have lost their inheritance to wrongly pay off care home fees.
Farley Dwek Solicitors has put together a checklist for Daily Mirror readers
- Did your family member live in a care home between 1st April 2011 and 31st March 2012?
- Was your family rejected for funding on a health needs grounds by the local PCT?
- Were you relatives health needsnever even considered?
- Did your relative’s care needs fail to be ‘regularlyreviewed’?
- Was the process confusing?
If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions it is highly likely you may claim a successful refund.
Five tips to making a successful claim
- Don’t worry about gathering paperwork – your solicitor will help you with this
- Ensure you lodge a claim before 31st March 2013
- Find as many medical records as you can about your relative
- Speak to a specialist care home fees solicitor
- Farley Dwek operates a free assessment phone line on 0161 272 5222