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  • FIRST POST
    • Simon7685
    • By Simon7685 18th Oct 19, 12:10 PM
    • 1,081Posts
    • 447Thanks
    Simon7685
    Council bill for care arriving after death.
    • #1
    • 18th Oct 19, 12:10 PM
    Council bill for care arriving after death. 18th Oct 19 at 12:10 PM
    I have asked for advice on here a few times since my Mother died and hopefully this is now the last time I will need to ask for it as everything else is now pretty much sorted.

    She had some care during the last few months of her life, which helped take some of the pressure off me all the time and allowed me to be more a son as opposed to the guy that looks after her. I did however have arguments with the council over her contribution, as a lot of disability aids we had bought for her they refused to have regard to. So I guess I should have known this would not be easy and straight forward.

    A week after she died I got a bill for care of 73.80. I contacted them and asked for confirmation of whether this the final amount due, as the bill did not make it clear. 3 weeks later I got an email to say it was. I replied and said that I was still finalising everything but did not think there was going to be enough money to pay them. I got a reply asking me to let them know when everything was clear.

    I wrote on Monday and said that despite getting some money refunded from utility companies there was still not enough to cover the funeral cost, so I asked them to write off the 73.80. I explained that I had been in the same position regards a DWP over payment and a credit card debt as well owing to the same reason and that thankfully both of those had been written off. also apologised for the situation and explained that I had personally had to bear the brunt of some of the cost of the funeral due to the situation and that regrettably I could not do the same over this amount.

    Yesterday afternoon I received an email from the Council credit controller and the tone was completely different. It was not even addressed to me personally, there were no "thank you for your correspondence of" etc etc. Instead it read Send me copies of all correspondence relating to the DWP overpayment, a copy of the funeral bill and all bank statements for the last 3 months. That was it nothing else! To say I was shocked at the manner of the email is an understatement, manners cost nothing and given the circumstances I expect to be shown both some compassion and respect. I intend to complain over the manner I have been contacted as it is unprofessional and disscurtious.

    Anyhow what I want to know is am I legally obliged to supply this, for a bill of 73.80?
    What has all the correspondence regards the DWP over payment got to do with them? Or the funeral bill come to that?
    Also 3 months of bank statements?
    I feel like this is overkill to say the least for 73. They were aware of her financial situation, the only reason she paid anything was because her AA was increased from low to high and they came along and took the whole of the increase and refused to accept a number of Disability related expenses. I was in the process of complaining about that right at the point my Mother was admitted to the Hospice for the final time.

    I feel like writing back and saying stick it where the sun don't shine, it has upset and also angered me. The DWP and bank were fantastic over things a form to sign saying there was no money in the estate and that if the situation changed I would let them know and that was it.

    I have struggled a lot since her death and am starting counselling next week and now this is something I could do without. Part of me thinks why don't I just pay it myself and be done with it!

    Thanks in advance
Page 1
    • Dox
    • By Dox 18th Oct 19, 1:29 PM
    • 1,665 Posts
    • 1,259 Thanks
    Dox
    • #2
    • 18th Oct 19, 1:29 PM
    • #2
    • 18th Oct 19, 1:29 PM
    I have struggled a lot since her death and am starting counselling next week and now this is something I could do without. Part of me thinks why don't I just pay it myself and be done with it!
    Originally posted by Simon7685
    That's an option worth considering IF you can afford it and paying it will enable you to close the chapter. On the other hand, if it will leave you simmering with frustration and even more upset, then it probably isn't the best idea.

    Alternatively, send them photocopies of the documents they've asked for (which aren't that extensive/difficult to come by) and see if that shuts them up.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 18th Oct 19, 1:34 PM
    • 20,038 Posts
    • 51,007 Thanks
    elsien
    • #3
    • 18th Oct 19, 1:34 PM
    • #3
    • 18th Oct 19, 1:34 PM
    They are, in their rather cack-handed way, wanting to check that your mother's estate is indeed insolvent which is why they're asking for the relevant accounts in order to confirm this.
    I suspect it's a bog standard letter sent out whether the amount is 10 or 1000, and it probably gets sent to anyone challenging the costs without regards to whether they have passed away or not.
    Which doesn't make it any less insensitive. Do they have a bereavent section at all?
    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.
    • Simon7685
    • By Simon7685 19th Oct 19, 12:00 PM
    • 1,081 Posts
    • 447 Thanks
    Simon7685
    • #4
    • 19th Oct 19, 12:00 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Oct 19, 12:00 PM
    Thank you for the advice offered, to clarify I could just pay it but it would increase the personal level of debt I have following needing to pay for the "top up" of the funeral. I am still waiting for a funeral payment but having spoken to them, I expect there to be shortfall of up to 600, which I will be paying by credit card and then paying it off as soon as I can.

    Re the contact from the council, it wasn't a letter, just an email no addressee details no Dear Mr XXXX. It plainly said;
    Send me copies of all correspondence relating to the DWP over payment, a copy of the funeral bill and all bank statements for the last 3 months.

    I do not believe that the correspondence relating to the DWP over payment has anything whatsoever to do with them. I do not understand what that correspondence has to do with them writing off a 73 bill that the estate does not have the funds to pay. I think it is an absolute liberty to even have the gaul to ask for it, or the funeral bill come to that.

    I had not thought about looking for a bereavement section for the council and I will be having a look to see if there is someone I can contact directly. At the same time I have now decided to complain about the manner I have been contacted by, as well as the information they expect to receive.

    I am going to reply to the email and specifically ask why they want the information requested, when they are already aware of her financial position (Revised financial assessment completed in July this year). Also what the correspondence between myself and the DWP in getting the over payment written off has to do with them?

    What I really could do with finding out is what happens if I refuse to supply the details? Can they find me liable to pay the bill as executor? As I am so maddened by the whole thing. It is not just this, the manner they conducted her financial assessment in refusing to allow things that were purchased to make her life easier. They even attempted to refuse her disability scooter as a DRE because she hadn't used it for 3 months due to being too unwell!
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