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Debt letter from council for social care 4 years late

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Debt letter from council for social care 4 years late

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt-Free Wannabe
7 replies 1.8K views
winalotwinalot Forumite
103 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt-Free Wannabe
my mum has dementia and has been sent a letter at her current nursing home saying she has an outstanding debt of several hundred pounds covering the period between her leaving her then care home (closed down for poor care) and starting at a new care home in which period she transitioned from local council funding to nhs CHC. i do wonder if the charge could be a back charge for the changeover in funding which should have been done between the council and nhs.

The letter is from a "council debt recovery officer" asking how she plans to make payment. We queried it and were only told it relates to outstanding social care charges - is the debt recovery officer a bailiff or actually a council empoyee and in any case is this likely to progress to bailiffs - i'm concerned about paying a bill i don't recognize and that the council (wandsworth and richmond) are sending vague invoices years out of date directly to vulnerable people and whether there is something i ought to be doing to draw attention to this. What has been send is a "statement of account" - not an invoice which i assume would need to be issued...any advice or links on the best way to deal with this appreciated.

Replies

  • HampshireHHampshireH Forumite
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    The statement of account should provide a breakdown of costs.

    Assuming you have POA why dont you make an appt to go and ee them to discuss this. Take the paperwork with you from whwn she moved to support your belief there is no debt owed ans this should have been sorted out between council and nhs at the time.

    Bear in mind if notice was required the provider may not have paid an overlap of fees. Could this be fees for a 4 week notice period and therefore a valid debt?
  • winalotwinalot Forumite
    103 posts
    thanks hampshire H that's very helpful. i don't think notice was required but will look into it ...we don't have POA - mum got dementia very rapidly following an aneurysm.
  • winalotwinalot Forumite
    103 posts
    Hampshire H, by the provider do you mean the council? I could sort of understand if it were the care provider sending a late bill but don't think we paid anything direct to the council.

    Many thanks again for your response.
  • fatbellyfatbelly Forumite
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    winalot wrote: »
    We queried it and were only told it relates to outstanding social care charges - is the debt recovery officer a bailiff or actually a council empoyee and in any case is this likely to progress to bailiffs - i'm concerned about paying a bill i don't recognize and that the council (wandsworth and richmond) are sending vague invoices years out of date directly to vulnerable people and whether there is something i ought to be doing to draw attention to this.

    It's just a council employee.

    So your mum is the 'debtor'. How does the council think they can enforce this against her? Does she have any assets or savings?

    If it's only a few hundred pounds, can you tell whether that is a large charge over a short period or a small charge over a long period? I'm guessing that the nursing home fees were above the maximum the council would pay, perhaps only by a small amount, but that that situation went on for a few months.

    I had similar problems a few years ago with my council who were appalling in their treatment of a family member over many months. I fell lucky in having a local councillor who raised the issue with the Council's cabinet and the whole thing was then swiftly resolved.

    Should you wish your councillor to look into it you can contact them through

    https://www.writetothem.com

    You just put your postcode in.
  • winalotwinalot Forumite
    103 posts
    Many thanks fatbelly she did pay towards it but from her benefits and paid direct to the home rather than via the council which is what doesn't make sense..will look into writing to her MP if no explanation is forthcoming - thank you for the suggestion
  • HampshireHHampshireH Forumite
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    Hiya. Sorry for the delayed response. Yes I meant care provider.

    I.e. if care provider A required a notice period which overlapped with her going to care provider B

    You say she transitioned from council funding at the same time as moving. It sounds like the Council feel they have overpaid for her care. Hence the need for a full breakdown of what is allegedly owed.

    If its for fees then it should state what fees these are.
  • elsienelsien Forumite
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    If you don't have power of attorney, how are her finances currently being managed? Appointee? Deputyship? Or does mum still have capacity around her finances?

    They would have to send the letter to mum if they're not aware of anyone else with the legal authority to address the debt on her behalf.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
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