Care Fees Assessments
The new Care Act makes provision for Care Fees to be challenged or a formal assessment to be made to ensure that the appropriate authority is only being paid for the service provided and they are only entitled to certain assets of the person in care having taken into account all the relevant matters that are now set out in the new Act.
This is for people who are currently in care.
In our probate administration work when estates are administered one thing that is overlooked is whether any care fees which have been paid during the deceased`s lifetime are correct. These can amount to substantial amounts.
One of the executor’s duties is to ensure the recovery of all sums due to the estate for distribution to the beneficiaries.
if there is care fees paid during a person`s lifetime it maybe that the Council have assessed these incorrectly. In some instances over the years this can amount to a substantial sum.
The Local Authorities are legally obliged to make correct assessments and they are not allowed to take money which they are not entitled to nor are they allowed to take money from people`s estates when monies should have been taken from third parties i.e. Government Benefits and other statutory bodies. local Authorities are legally obliged to ensure the assessment is accurate and fair. Often these rules are bypassed if there is an easier option i.e. the estate funds/assets.
Such matters have become more transparent for Local Authorities with the enactment of The Care Act.
In April 2015, the government implemented changes to the Care Act which could benefit many people who have been charged incorrect fees for their lifetime care.
The Care Act was devised to bring all the rules relating to care needs, their assessment and their funding together in one piece of legislation.
Not all the changes have yet been implemented but the Act sets out what a Council has to know and consider when assessing care fees whether they be in the future or in the past. Local Authorities now have a legal responsibility to make the assessments as to the level of support which was reasonably required. In the past they had large discretionary powers which have now gone. In essence there should be uniformity across the country. In practice most Council`s make up the rules and the assessments as they go along.
In the past they need not take into consideration or have as there discretion carers support. The Act now changes this and in effect says that all the family and carer`s position should be taken into account. This often means that money is taken when it should not have been and the Council should have provided financial support.
The Act Also provides new rights which Executors should enjoy in that Council`s will now have to adopt a new national eligibility criteria and accept a request for an assessment based upon what should have been considered and taken into account and not what the Council did in fact take into account.
You are now entitled to assess the total budget that should have been supplied. In most cases one will not have been supplied.
If assets have been realized during a person’s lifetime and they should not have been you are entitled to seek compensation and redress.
The Carer, family and any other consideration now has to be taken into account for assessment purposes.
The Local Authority has to show they considered and provided where appropriate preventative services that could reduce or delay your need for care.
This is not intended to be full account of the changes the Care Act has brought about.
These assessments are often very detailed and complex.
However help is at hand as Kang Legal Chambers have experience in this type of work and we will challenge the appropriate authority on your behalf.
Please feel free to contact us for an initial discussion.