Can you claim back care home fees?
Dom Littlewood has been looking at the changes to the assessment rules for care home funding, which could mean that patients can apply for a refund on their fees. Watch Dom's report by clicking play above.
Previously, in England, each health authority used a different set of criteria to assess the funding a patient was eligible for.
Since October 2007 however, the rules for assessment changed and one system was implemented for the whole of England.
Wales follows similar rules to England, with Local Health Boards being required to follow Welsh Assembly Guidance from 2004.
Northern Ireland also follows rules that all care is paid for if the main need is a health need. A single assessment tool was launched in February and is currently being rolled out. But you cannot claim retrospectively here.
Scotland follows a completely different system, where all NHS care costs are always paid for. But individuals may have to pay for their room and board costs, on a means tested basis.
Who may be eligible for a refund?
Those with serious health needs who have been admitted to a nursing home in recent years could be eligible to claim their fees back.
How do I apply for a refund?
If you believe a relative was wrongly assessed, before October 2007 or since this date, then speak to your social worker, health practitioner or local Primary Care Trust for a continuing care review or ask for a retrospective assessment from when they first entered the nursing home.
If it's decided your relative was wrongly assessed, then you could get your money back.
You are able to claim back fees retrospectively for care even if the relative is no longer at the nursing home. How far back you can claim depends on where you live.
- In England you can claim back fees from April 2004 onwards.
- In Wales you can claim back fees from April 1996 onwards, but from 4th December 2009, you can only claim back fees from April 2003 onwards,
- In Northern Ireland, you are unable to claim back fees retrospectively.
- For info about the system in Scotland, see the link below.
Sources of advice
Help The Aged also offer a SeniorLine on 0808 800 6565 for free advice on financial matters.
Direct Gov website.
For more information on what funding is available in Scotland, visit the Scottish Government website.
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