Illegal Charges To Be Repaid At Last
The scheme to pay back people who were illegally charged for nursing home care has finally commenced. An estimated 70,000 people or their estates can now apply for repayment. The scheme covers long-stay residents of public and other residential facilities and/or those who occupied a private nursing and who were wrongfully charged at any time between August 1976 and December 2004. According to the HSE, people who were wrongfully charged ‘are generally defined as those who had or were eligible for a medical card and should not have been charged for publicly funded residential care, but were charged what are known as public long-stay charges’.
The scheme allows for the repayment of charges to:
-Living people who were wrongly charged at any time since 1976.
-The estates of people who were wrongly charged and died on or after December 9, 1998 (the cut off point for claims relating to deceased people).
Claims can be made by filling in a form and returning it to the scheme administrator for assessment. The HSE said that priority will be given to processing the claims of the living, ‘to ensure that people currently resident in public facilities will benefit first from the scheme’.
Repayments to the living are exempt from income tax and will not affect social welfare entitlements. The scheme is expected to take two years to complete.
Claim forms are now available through local post offices and the HSE, although forms have already been sent to long-stay facilities and to those who pre-registered their details with the HSE.