What to check when choosing a Continuing Healthcare solicitor or advisor
We’re often asked if we can recommend a solicitor or specialist adviser to help with Continuing Healthcare cases.
Although we don’t publish lists of solicitors or advisors for this purpose, we do have some tips for you about how to choose a Continuing Healthcare advisor – and the pitfalls to look out for.
Keep in mind, though, that you don’t necessarily need to use a solicitor or advisor at all; you can do a lot yourself, and this is especially true during the early stages of the Continuing Healthcare process.
That said, having a good specialist on your side can be invaluable at certain times during the Continuing Healthcare assessment and appeal process. It can save you a huge amount of time and also some of the stress, and it’s entirely understandable that you might want someone to fight the battle for you.
Solicitor or advisor – which is best in Continuing Healthcare?
In short, both can be equally good.
5 key things to check with whomever you choose – and regardless of their title:
- Are they are a specialist in Continuing Healthcare (not just someone with a general qualification in care fees or someone who knows just ‘a bit about’ care fees)?
- Do they have hands-on practical experience dealing with Continuing Healthcare assessors and decision makers?
- Are they are familiar with the kinds of obstacles that families face every day during the assessment and appeal process – and do they understand how to counter these?
- Do they understand the law surrounding care fees and NHS Continuing Healthcare, as well as knowing the national guidelines inside out?
- What have they published about Continuing Healthcare, and what does this say about their knowledge/potential expertise?
If you’re looking online to find a specialist, check out what kind of content they have on their website. Does it show they really know what they’re talking about? Is their website useful or purely promotional? It’s these kinds of things that help you get a feel for how effective they may be for you. Do they have a blog and does it show their practical experience in this field?
If you find someone who asks you for just a few details of your relative’s health needs and then says you have a good case for Continuing Healthcare funding, be cautious. It usually takes more that to be able to take a considered view of any given case.
If you’re using a claims company, ask whether their specialism is processing claims or pursuing Continuing Healthcare cases. There’s a big difference between the two. (It could also be both, of course.)
Given how difficult it can be to secure Continuing Healthcare, you need someone on your side who knows what they’re doing in this specific field – and can argue your case with conviction and counter the mistakes and maladministration that occur in so many instances.
Be aware also that you know your relative best, and even if you do have someone acting for you, you still need to be closely involved to make sure that all details about your relative’s health and care needs are properly considered and included.
You may also find that if your case is a particularly difficult one, it may be more difficult to find someone to take this on for you. However, this does not mean you couldn’t be successful pursuing it yourself, if you have the time and energy.
For more about Continuing Healthcare…