Home Care Funding: A Clearer Future?

Home Care Funding: A Clearer Future?

The Commission on Funding of Care and Support which was set up in July 2010 as an independent body, to review the funding system for care and support in England, has submitted its final report.

In a letter to the Government which coincided with the report’s release, Andrew Dilnot, the Chairman for the Commission, outlined ‘a new partnership between the  individual and the state’.

The existing system for funding long term care is complex, difficult to navigate and subject to a means test, which often results in the spending of life savings or the sale of the family home to raise the money required.

In the light of this, the Commission has recommended the following changes:

  • The means test upper limit of eligibility for publicly funded care should be increased from the present £23,250 to £100,000
  • Where people have to pay for their own care this would be capped at £35,000, with a general living cost contribution of £10,000
  • Social Care assessments should be consistent across the country and portable when people move. Disability benefits should continue as they are now.

As everyone with over £100,000 worth of capital would have to contribute £35,000 towards their care and make a contribution towards their living costs, the report envisages new financial products that will enable people to save and plan for this potential expenditure in the future.

It is clear that if the recommendations are accepted, there will be major questions as to how they will be funded. The report does not shy away from pointing out that, historically social care has been under-funded and that the funding has failed to keep pace with demographic changes. The estimate for implementing the proposals is £1.7billion.

The report also suggests that this might be paid for through additional taxation, perhaps with a specific tax on those over State Pension age.

The report stresses repeatedly that the current system is perceived as unfair, that it is unnecessarily complex and in many ways, unsustainable. If you are a family member already caught in the maze of care funding, or about to become embroiled in it, our private client team are able to help guide you through.

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