Deadline approaching for wrongly paid care home fees in Wales
By Lisa Morgan, partner at Hugh James and Age Cymru’s campaigner of the year
Thousands of families across Wales who argue that their elderly relatives have been wrongly charged care home fees risk missing out following a Welsh Government announcement.
Families have been given a last chance to claim wrongly paid care home fees after the Welsh Government announced a deadline of the 31 July 2014 to claim back care fees paid from 1 April 2003 to 31 July 2013.
If the primary reason a person is in a care home is because of their health and nursing needs, the NHS is responsible for the full cost of the care home fees, regardless of their ability to pay.
There is, however, a lack of awareness and understanding about how the assessment process works. In some cases people are incorrectly assessed or not assessed at all, with the result that many people end up paying the fees themselves. If on assessment they are deemed eligible for NHS care funding they could be due a refund of the care fees that have already been paid. This is the case even if the person who was cared for has since died.
In Wales, tens of millions of pounds has been reimbursed to thousands of families in Wales who have been wrongly charged for care and in many cases, they have been forced to sell their family home to pay. It is important that people are aware of this new deadline. This is the last chance to ask the Health Board for a review of care home fees paid from 1 April 2003 to 31 July 2013.
Hugh James currently represents over 6000 people claiming they have been wrongly charged nursing care fees in England and Wales. They are the leading national experts in recovery of wrongly paid care home fees, our nursing care legal specialists have successfully recovered over £50 million to date.