In April we reported on the new Care and Support Bill, which is set to come in from 2016 and which aims to protect the elderly and disabled from the potentially catastrophic costs of personal care.
The Bill will cap at £72,000 the amount that anyone pays for care in their lifetime, and raise to £123,000 the financial threshold at which a person has to meet his or her own costs.
However, severe concerns have since been raised as to how these changes will actually be implemented.
As reported in The Sunday Telegraph in May, 38 charities, including Age UK, the Alzheimer’s Society, Scope and the British Red Cross, have written a letter to the Prime Minister outlining their concerns and claiming that changes in assessment would leave 135,000 people ineligible for state-funded care, with a further 900,000 unable to benefit from a cap on the cost of care.
Of concern is the fact that ministers will decide to restrict eligibility for state help to people who require ‘substantial’ amounts of personal care. Anyone who is assessed by his or her council as having only ‘moderate’ care needs may not be eligible for inclusion in the cap. This would mean that anything a person spent on care fees would not count towards the capped cost and would remain unlimited.
Currently, in most local councils only those assessed as having ‘substantial’ care needs are able to access the care system, and unless the Government sets the proposed national eligibility criteria at the equivalent of ‘moderate’ needs, hundreds of thousands of people who cannot carry out everyday tasks such as preparing food, getting dressed, washing and doing laundry will be left without help.
In light of these concerns, it is recommended that long-term care planning is put in place.
Blaser Mills has a specialist Elderly Client Services team comprising solicitors who can advise you on how to plan for your own future care costs, as well as dealing with the financial affairs of an elderly or incapacitated relative.
If you would like further information, please contact the team at: firstname.lastname@example.org