Elderly who were illegally charged ‘now underpaid’

Elderly people illegally charged for nursing homes are at risk of being underpaid in the repayments scheme, according to Deputy Denis Naughten who this week pointed to the high rate of payments being increased on appeal. Deputy Naughten described it as suspicious that 18 percent of those applicants who appealed their offer from the nursing home repayment scheme had it increased after a decision was made on their appeal. Deputy Naughten said it suggested that elderly people who were illegally charged and entitled to a refund were being underpaid. ‘It is totally unacceptable that elderly and vulnerable people may be in a situation where money they are rightfully owed is being repaid to them in the form of offers which may be upped on appeal. The high level of successful appeals, at almost one fifth, would lead one to suspect that a significant portion of the offers being made are below what is due. ‘It is appalling when one considers that, in some instances, the elderly person may have no next of kin, or may suffer from dementia or Alzheimers. How on earth are they to evaluate if the have received a fair offer? This will also raise suspicions among those who have accepted offers without appeal that once again they have been ripped off by the State.’