Many pensioners have mistakenly been charged medical care costs, after bureaucratic errors - between 1 April 2004 and 31 March 2011 - meant they were not offered a review by the NHS Continuing Healthcare Scheme to establish whether they were eligible for state help.
Some pensioners were forced to sell their homes to cover their costs, according to a report by law firm Farley Dwek. Russel Hall, an adviser at financial advisers Almery Green, urges pensioners to reclaim their fees before the reassessment period ends 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."
If you think you or a relative might have been wrongly charged, you should contact your local Primary Care Trust.
This article was written for our sister website Money Observer.