Law firm urges families to claim care fees cash
Shoddy paperwork and poor procedures caused thousands of elderly people to lose their homes to pay for care which should have been free, lawyers have said.
Bureaucratic blunders by the care homes industry and National Health Service meant thousands of pensioners needlessly lost their homes between 2004 and 2011, Andrew Farley, partner for law firm Farley Dwek Solicitors, has said.
Mr Farley, who is acting for families affected by the mistakes, said people have until 30 September 2012 to claim cash they were owed between 1 April 2004 and 31 March 2011 retrospectively.
He explained that patients in care homes were supposed to have their care and funding reviewed and recorded regularly, but more than 5000 families said these reviews did not happen.
Mr Farley said last year more than 30,000 people sold their homes to pay for care home costs but many of them should have had their fees funded by the NHS.
The NHS has now admitted to the error and set the deadline for families to reclaim funds.
Millions of pounds are up for grabs and as many as 100,000 people are eligible to reclaim funding but only 5750 people have taken up cases so far, Mr Farley said.
He added: “This is a national scandal affecting many thousands of families across the country. Even if the person is now deceased, families can still reclaim money that is rightly owed to them.
“The onus is on families to step forward and lodge a claim before the deadline expires.”
Russell Hall, adviser for Norfolk-based Almary Green, said: “It’s unfair so many individuals have been forced to sell their homes to pay for care that should have been free on the NHS due to mistakes by officials.”
- Long-term care system changes has IFAs on point
- Gov’t pushes for elderly care loans deferred after death
- Long-term care White Paper: Key Points