Why save and nurture my finances only for them to be used to pay for my care?
The Care Act 2014 was to be introduced in April 2016 to cap the cost of care at £72,000. The cap also looked at your need for care and not at the contents of your bank account. However, last year the Government decided to delay the implementation of the cap on care costs until 2020. The decision to delay has been linked to the Government’s plan to reduce the country’s deficit amid concerns that it will cost £6billion over the next five years
The decision to delay the cap could leave thousands of families facing catastrophic care costs.
How could this affect me?
As the cap on care costs has been delayed, the current rules still apply. If you need care now or in the future, and if you have assets at £23,250 or below, then you will receive some financial assistance from the Local Authority.
If you have assets above this threshold then you will have to pay for all or some of your own care costs from your cash assets, property and anything else you have of value. For one in ten, this can exceed £100,000.
If you have a nursing need then you may qualify for NHS continuing care which may be fully funded or part-funded (depending on the level of nursing care needed) by the Local Authority, irrespective of the value of your assets.
What can I do now?
Many people were delaying a care assessment for themselves or loved ones until after April 2016. Now the cap on care costs has been delayed you should be asking your medical practitioner or social worker for a care assessment . This will help you to identify any level of need for care which may be required which could have an effect on how you pay for your care.
It is also important to ensure that the affairs of your loved ones are in order and appropriate for their circumstances. Not only do you need to know how much they need to contribute towards their care costs but also that they have reviewed their Will, Lasting Powers of Attorney and/or Enduring Power of Attorney. You should always seek professional legal advice.