From April 2020 (put on hold since the Budget) the state is planning to make a bigger contribution to long-term care in England – but it's not that simple...
The Care Act 2014 implements a pledge by the Government to cap the cost of paying for long-term care in England. Even those who have the resources to pay will get their care paid for once they have spent a certain amount on it themselves. But just how much is that "certain amount"?
How much do I have to pay for care until the state helps out?
The cap has been set at £72,000. But that does not mean that once you have spent £72,000 the state will pay the rest. Most people will have to spend around twice that on care home fees before the cap is reached.
First, the cap is not reached when you have spent £72,000. The cap represents the amount of care you could buy at the rate your local authority would pay.
Even then, the cap will not have been reached because it covers only care costs – not the cost of board and lodging in the home.
The Government is expected to fix the national figure for board and lodging at £12,000 a year, which is £230 a week. Deducting that from £650 leaves just £420 a week as the cost of the care that the council will pay for.
At the moment, in England, anyone with more than £14,250 is expected to pay something towards the cost of their care, and those whose assets exceed £23,250 get no help. But from April 2016 those figures will rise to £17,000 before you make any contribution and £118,000 before all help stops.
But if you have significant savings, the contribution you have to pay will cover most of the cost of the home.
The changes to the Care Act 2014 apply only to England. The rules are different in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland some changes to paying for the cost of nursing care in later life will
begin in April 2015.
If you require more information about how to fund long term care fees, who should pay for care fees or protecting your estate from loss contact Paul Humphreys on 01691 652233
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