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  1. #1
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    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    13

    reclaiming overpaid fees from the Council

    My dad has recently died after 10 months in an amazing Care Home. It is very sad but he was 89 and it was peaceful and the home were amazing and made his last few months the best they could be for someone with advanced Dementia.

    However, I have now discovered that my mum has been paying the fees for the home long after she should have done. My Dad was assessed when he was still living with my mum and he was only just over the 23.250 limit then. He was assessed because he had carers coming to the house to get him out of bed. Then he went into a home. The Council had agreed that when his capital dropped below that limit they would pay 435 towards the care home fees. I know they would only have paid some of the fees until he reached 14,500 but my Dad's capital is well below that now.

    However, at the time it was all such a nightmare and so much to learn and the social worker my mum had was useless. It has taken most of the 10 months my dad was in the home for my mum to get legal Deputy status to manage his affairs. She is 91 and didn't realise that he should have been reassessed a long time ago. I live away and have also been in hospital and it is hard to keep an eye on the figures. Also my mum is very proud and is not always easy to get her to let me help.

    Now I look at a few bits of paper I realise that the Council owe my mum at least 10,000 if not more and I am going to try and get it back for her as they were never wealthy. Has anyone else had any experience of this? How was it?

    I have spoken to the helpline and they have advised assembling all the evidence and they agree it is also Social Services incompetence as they totally abandoned my mum even though they were supposed to be her social worker. The had already left her to care for my dad alone when he came out of hospital with Cancer, Dementia etc and she was 90 and had a broken leg!! Since my dad went into a home they have never been near my mum again.

    I know it will be a struggle to get them to pay up but I just wondered if anyone else has been through this and if you have any advice please?

    Thanks
     

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Greater London
    Posts
    1,975
    Hello La Lucia

    This is not quite the same thing but broadly similar, in that it relates to Social Services charging when they shouldn't have done, and this isn't quite so complicated because it doesn't involve a financial assessment.

    In November, Mum received Continuing Healthcare funding at home so when the next invoice arrived, I phoned them to say Mum was only due to pay 25 days out of the 28, which I arranged. Then I got a reminder for the 3 days and despite another phone call another invoice for the next 4 weekly payment. In the middle of all this Mum went into care and then died, and I was still getting these letters.

    So when the next letter arrived, I phoned again and told the woman that if I didn't get an answer by the end of the week I would see my local councillor at his next surgery. I came off the phone and decided to write a letter of complaint. I also showed this to the councillor. In the meantime, my letter was going through the Corporate Complaints procedure and it was then resolved very quickly.

    So I would suggest that you marshall your facts and write a letter to the Council. If you do not get a reply, or not a satisfactory reply, then consider looking into Social Services complaints procedure or contact your local councillor or both. You may well find as I did that there doesn't seem to be much communication between the Social Workers and the Finance department sending out the bills.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on.

    Mary
    Mary

    Daughter and former carer
    Now doing voluntary work at local Carers centre
     

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    13
    Thank you for this Mary, very useful.

    Now I look at the papers, the Social Services department knew that my dad was only just over the threshold. Literally after paying one months fees for the care home he fell below the limit. My mum has been struggling with this all this time and she shouldn't have been paying.

    I will do as you suggest and if they do not help I will complain because I think they have had more then 10,000 - 15,000 that they shouldn't have had if not more. I just think what about all the elderly people who do not have anyone to look over the papers and help them? The councils must be getting away with lots of money and probably people all over the country are losing out. This system really needs revising, all of it, it is such a tangle of complications for people to go through just when they are the most vulnerable.

    I shall fight and if anyone else has any suggestions or comments please do let me know. Meanwhile, I shall let you know how I get on but if it is like any of my past dealings with our local social services, it won't be easy......
     

 

 

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