Reclaim care home charges before it's too late

8 August 2012

Pensioners wrongly charged with care home fees by the NHS have less than two months to reclaim them, as the deadline closes at the end of September.

Many pensioners and their families have mistakenly been burdened with the costs of medical care, after bureaucratic errors meant pensioners were not offered a chance of a review by the NHS Continuing Healthcare Scheme to see whether or not they were eligible for any state help.

These errors took place between 1 April 2004 and 31 March 2011.

As a result, some pensioners were forced to sell their homes to cover these care costs, according to a report by law firm Farley Dwek.

Russel Hall, an adviser at advisory firm Almery Green, urges pensioners to reclaim their fees before the reassessment closes on 30 September.

He says: "Care fees pose a big challenge both to consumers and the government. At a time when the country is battling economic headwinds, the onus is on individuals to provide for their own care, which can prove a big burden on families.

"If individuals do not claim back their care fees, it could deprive beneficiaries of their inheritance. For example, money can't cascade down the family tree as many have been forced to sell their homes," he adds.

If you think you or a relative might have been wrongly charged, you should contact your local Primary Care Trust.

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