Continuing Care: How to Claim Back Fees as the March 2013 Deadline Looms

Jan 17

With the average annual UK bill for a care home room now a massive £27,404, elderly people and their relatives are facing increasing difficulty in finding funds to cover the cost of later life.  In many instances, it’s essential for assets to be sold or for relatives to dole out phenomenal fees using private savings.

What is Continuing Care?

If ill-health is the main reason for a person going into a home, then it’s likely that they’re eligible for an NHS scheme, Continuing Healthcare.  Under this initiative, the NHS is liable to cover all costs, including accommodation, with no ceiling on the amount paid out, no means test and it is not age-related.

Why Haven’t I Heard About It?

Six out of 10 Primary Care Trusts do not advertise the service that can help families to save thousands of pounds a month.

The Department of Health deadline for claims relating to care home fees paid between 1 April 2004 and 31 March 2011, was 30th September 2012.  It is too late to make claims relating to this or earlier periods, but there is until March 2013 to make a claim for payments made between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2012.

Whether the person in question is still alive or has since passed away, a claim can be filed to undergo retrospective assessment. A medical expert will determine the medical condition of the patient during their time in care before making a decision about whether they were unjustly charged for healthcare fees.  If they were, they will be eligible for a refund.

How Can I Claim?

Act fast.  To request an assessment, you will need to contact the Primary Care Trust (PCT) responsible for the area where the individual was living at the period of time in question.

It’s possible to file a claim yourself, and there are numerous resources on the web offering free advice on how to organise and strengthen your case.  However, with the deadline fast approaching, a claims management company can save you time and effort in claiming back your fees, and will often operate on a no win, no fee basis.  Often a claims management firm can achieve a better success rate, due to their knowledge of jargon and your legal rights.

So, if you think you or a family member may have been eligible for Continuing Care and wish to make a claim for care home fees paid between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2012, be sure to register your appeal before 31 March 2012.

This article was contributed by Laura Moulden on behalf of Cheselden, the leading Continuing Care review specialists.