Financial & Legal News

Deadline Imminent In Care Home Fees Challenge

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Time is running out for Oldham families who could be losing out on £000s if they are paying for the care of elderly relatives and they have until the end of the month to make a challenge.

Most families assume they have to sell the family home to pay care costs, but if the main reason for that care is ill-health then some families could benefit from ‘Continuing Healthcare’ provision by the NHS which is not means tested.  But the clock is ticking down to challenge those decisions, September 30th is the Department of Health deadline for all claims to be registered, warned law firm Pearson Hinchliffe.

This is the final deadline for all appeals if you think a relative has been wrongly required to contribute to their care home fees from April 2004 to March 2011. Many families are financially crippled by the burden of care home fees believing they are doing the right thing by paying for their loved ones, but most do not know they could be eligible for several years of backdated fees which have been wrongly paid.

Deadline for claims

RECEIVING CARE FROM 1st April 2004 to 31st March 2011 -  DEADLINE: 30th September 2012

“If you or your relative are in a nursing home because of mental or physical illness then you might be paying thousands or pounds a week for something which could be funded by the NHS and now is the time to act and challenge that decision before it’s too late,” warned solicitor Mike Talbot, Partner at law firm Pearson Hinchliffe, who is currently acting for a number of local families seeking to challenge the NHS.

In 1999 a landmark ruling said the NHS was responsible for funding if the primary reason for extended care was a health need and each Primary Care Trust has its own procedures for dealing with such requests.

“Many families have to sell the family home if they are forced to place their loved ones in a home to get the care they need for conditions such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or Dementia, I am concerned that they may not realise that if they do not lodge an appeal and challenge their eligibility for Continuing Heathcare they could have thrown away thousands of pounds,” added Mr Talbot.

'Significant Sums'

“They may be paying for something which should be funded by the NHS, in successful cases significant sums of money can be reimbursed to the relative or their family, even if their relative has since died and I would urge them to get in touch with us.”

Continuing Healthcare is care provided by professionals over an extended period of time to meet the physical or mental health needs of a patient which could have been caused by disability, accident or illness and when care needs are likely to be complex.  It is funded by the NHS and can be provided either in a care home or your own home.

The Department of Health has set a deadline of 30 September 2012 for any requests for assessment of NHS Continuing Healthcare funding to be made to the relevant Primary Care Trust.  Any request for an assessment after that deadline will not be considered unless exceptional circumstances apply and new deadlines will apply to cases from April 2011.

Those who fall within the April 2011 to March 2012 care provision face a March 2013 deadline, after 1 April 2012 different deadlines apply.

Pearson Hinchliffe LLP will assess each case on its merits to determine whether a claim can be made for a refund, or that the NHS should fund future care and they will offer No Win No Fee funding in appropriate cases.

 

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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