Posted on 11/02/2013

Government to Accounce Social Care Funding

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Government to Accounce Social Care Funding

Government to announce 'fully funded' solution

The government is set to announce its ‘fully funded solution’ to help elderly people in England who can’t afford social care. Expected to include a £75,000 cap on care costs and an increase in the threshold for means-tested support from £23,250 to £123,000, the change is expected to tackle the ‘scandal’ of elderly people having to sell their homes to pay for care.

According to Labour, the country needs a “far bigger and bolder response” and with 40,000 people forced to sell their homes every year, it is hoped these changes will help. Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg wrote in the Sunday Telegraph: “We will make sure no-one is forced to sell their home to pay for care in their lifetime, and no-one sees their life savings disappear just because they developed the wrong kind of illness.”

With the cost of accommodation in residential homes averaging from £7,000 - £10,000 a year, the sizable cap should establish the fact that the state will cover even some of the highest costs, encouraging people to start planning for their future needs.

According to Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, 10% of people end up paying over £100,000 in care costs and stated that “just as people make provisions for their pensions in their 20’s and 30’s, we also need to be a country that prepares for social care as well.”

He also added that by “setting an upper limit to how much people have to pay, then it makes it possible for insurance companies to offer policies, for people to have options on their pensions, so that anything you have to pay under the cap is covered.”

Alongside the introduction of a cap, it is expected that the government will also increase the means-tested threshold to ensure that those who are less well-off get state help towards costs. Those with assets of more than £23,250 currently have to pay for care; however the threshold could rise to £123,000.

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