Thousands of people who have wrongly paid care fees could miss out on claiming the money back from the NHS, a leading elderly care expert has warned.
The warning follows a new deadline for claim assessments set by the Department of Health which means eligible people have just under three months left to register their claims before they become invalid.
The Older and Vulnerable Client team at SAS Daniels LLP, deals with continuing care claims from all over the UK and warns that large sums of money may never be reclaimed due to a lack of awareness. The team said: “NHS continuing healthcare covers care which is provided outside of hospital. To be eligible, the person’s primary need for care must relate to their health, but for many years the definition of this has proved controversial and difficult to judge. Many families have been wrongly forced to stump up the cash, even selling houses to pay for care.
“Many people don’t realise that they may be eligible for funding so never even make a claim and now that a deadline has been imposed it is even more important for people to investigate whether they are eligible so that they don’t miss out.”
Last month the Department of Health set 30 September 2012 as the cut-off date for people to register claims in relation to all care fee payments made between 1 April 2004 and 31 March 2011.
The team continued: “With the cost of care continuing to rise, it’s imperative that people receive the support they are entitled to. We recently acted on behalf of an individual who claimed back in excess of £70,000.
“In my experience claims can take months but as long as people start the process before the September deadline, then their cases can go forward. Those who have paid care home or carer visit fees who may be eligible to claim money back would be well advised to make a claim as soon as possible.”
People can make a claim on their own behalf or on behalf of a relative.
For further information, please contact our older and vulnerable client team on 01625 44 2100.