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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Dead owe Cumbria County Council £8m

MORE than £8m of county council cash is tied up in the estates of deceased Cumbria residents.

The amount – £8.8m – is listed as part of a debt owed to the authority by people who have received nursing care before passing away.

A further £9.5m is owed to Cumbria County Council by people who are receiving care.

A spokesman for the authority explained a running total of money is always outstanding as more people need to move into nursing or community homes.

“People who go to stay in a care home may need to sell their property to pay the care home fees,” he said.

“Where there is a delay in selling the property or they do not want to sell the property immediately, payment can be deferred. When we pay for the care we then recover the payment from the proceeds of sale once the property is sold or the resident dies.”

The figures were revealed in a report to members of the county council’s cabinet committee. Finance officials at the authority are now working to collect the cash to settle the unpaid bills.

The spokesman added: “Our priority is to ensure vulnerable people get the care they need as soon as they need it.

“Often, we pay for someone’s care on their behalf until they can start paying for it. We would then assess whether or not we can recoup the money we paid out.”

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