Care Home Fee Disputes
If the Local Authority has made a decision about your care home fees or the care home fees of a loved one, you may disagree with that decision and wonder how you might go about challenging it.
At Ridley & Hall we have specialist solicitors who can help you with challenges against Local Authority decisions in relation to:
- Deprivation of Capital
- Unfair Third Party Top Up Charges
- Wrongful inclusion of capital within their financial assessment, such as failing to apply a mandatory or discretionary disregard
- S.117 aftercare funding
Whilst issuing court proceedings against a Local Authority (known as seeking a Judicial Review) can be appropriate, people with valid cases often don’t take this action because court proceedings can be very expensive unless you qualify for Legal Aid.
The Local Authority however has a complaints procedure and once that is exhausted it is possible to complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman. This form of despite resolution is sometimes preferred as it is free to use and is an alternative to court proceedings. At Ridley and Hall our specialist solicitors can advise you whether you have a case and they can assist you to make complaint to the Local Authority and thereafter, to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
Get in touch today for a free initial discussion.
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Frequently Asked Questions
If you have care needs the level of support you need should be assessed by your Local Authority. Once the level of care needed is established, the Local Authority will usually look at your financial means to determine how much you should contribute towards it.
The rules are complex and specific to your individual circumstances, but generally you are at the very least expected to make a contribution to your care fees from your income. The Local Authority will also look at your capital and decide whether you have enough money to pay for your care and this can sometimes include your home. Sometimes people do decide to sell their homes to fund their care.
It important that eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare is considered as an alternative source of funding. Further information is available in this FAQ guide.
If you feel that the Local Authority has not assessed you correctly, get in touch with Ridley and Hall for advice.
NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding is a package of care which is the responsibility of the NHS to maintain. In order words, if you are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding, the NHS must fully fund the care.
You can be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding wherever you are – it doesn’t matter. Whether you receive care at home or live in a residential or nursing home, the NHS must by law meet the cost of your care, if you have been assessed as eligible.
The National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare sets out the basis for eligibility and best practices which should be followed by NHS and social care professionals when undertaking eligibility assessments.
You are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding if, following a detailed assessment of the care which is needed to meet your needs, you have a “Primary Health Need”. Although there is no legal definition of what a Primary Health Need is, the guidance does make it clear that your needs should be over and above the provision of social care, which refers to maintaining nutrition, hygiene and safety among other things.
The National Framework goes on to describe the key characteristics of eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding, which requires assessors to consider the Nature, Intensity, Complexity and Unpredictability of your needs.
Needless to say, the criteria is complicated and because so much comes down to the professional judgment of the people assessing you, decisions on eligibility can be inconsistent and unfair. The procedural requirements for the assessment are also complicated and so mistakes can be made.
We are very open about how we charge for the work we do and will discuss the options with you straight away. Depending on our assessment of your case, we may be able to help you on a no win no fee basis. We can also help you on a “pay as you go” basis and we can also offer a fixed fee for your peace of mind.