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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12179
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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My elderly mother is completely bedridden at home, suffering

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My elderly mother is completely bedridden at home, suffering from a degenerative condition known as Multiple Systems Atrophy. She requires several teams of carers 24/7 and is no longer able to communicate intelligibly. Applications have been made by my sister who has LPA to the NHS for Continuing Care and to my mother's local authority Redbridge for Social Care. Due to their delays and in the former case, loss of all the documentation for her previous and current applications, my mother's capital and savings are now below £6,000. By the end of this month there will be no money to pay for the care that is essential to her existence. We are pursuing the NHS and Social Services but the latter claim ignorance as to how we can recover the £14,250 of savings which should have been exempt from means testing for social care and which everyone is entitled to retain. My mother has already spent around £96,000 of her own money on her care over the past three years.
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How did they access the funds so as to deplete your mothers savings to a sum below the exempt amount? Did no one keep an eye on the account balance and insist on a reassessment of her resources?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My younger sister and brother have LPA and have been paying all the care costs to date from my mother's account. My sister was responsible for the applications for Continuing Care (a renewed application because she had been assessed some time before and was not deemed eligible) and for Social Care in October and November 2014. My sister allowed the savings to run down to £14,250 or below before doing so. The process has taken some time and we have just been told that the NHS has lost all the documentation for my mother's application, which will have to begin again from scratch. Redbridge, the local authority, offers no advice on how to recover the £14,250 and has made fundamental errors in assessing the level of care required.

I suggest that you get your lawyer to write to the local authority submitting a claim for the overpayment. It is not good enough that they are not prepared to simply offer a refund. It is in fact nonsense that the have acted in this way. I suspect that the answer is that "they do not have a procedure for this". It will, therefore, need a lawyer to get involved and take it to a higher level so that you get the refund that your mother is entitled to.
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