We have looked at help available for unpaid carers and the needs assessment process for those needing the care. The last two Law Talks in this series look at the new financial limits which The Care Act introduces from April next year. How will it affect what you will pay for your care?
The Government said ‘The aim of the funding reforms is to create a fairer partnership between the person and the state, to protect those with the highest needs from catastrophic costs and to offer everyone much needed peace of mind around the risks of needing care and support.. Have they achieved it, we wonder?
Today, if you have assets below £13,250, you only pay your income towards your care. The rest of your capital is protected. That limit is increasing to £17,000. Between £13,250 and £24,250, you pay a ‘tariff income’ of £1 per week for every £250 you have between the limits. If you have £24,250 or more, then you are a self-funder. Thank you and goodbye. In my view that is fundamentally unfair for those who have saved for a house and investments which they want to pass on to their children.
‘I’ll tell you what’, says the government, ‘we will increase the limit to £27,000. And if you own a house we will increase it to £118,000’. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
‘But,’ says the government, whilst we ignore that £118,000 of assets, we will assess you as if you get income from them of £1 per week for every £250 of capital between £17,000 and £118,000’. So if your house is worth £80,000 and you have £30,000 of savings, you will be assessed as having to contribute your actual income PLUS £372 weekly tariff income towards your care costs.
‘But hang on’ you say ‘I only have pensions of £200 per week. Where am I going to get another £372 a week from?’
‘Don’t worry’, says the government, ‘you can defer it until you die. And THEN we will take it from your house.’
So, despite all the changes, little has really changed and planning ahead remains fundamentally important if you want to protect the things that you worked so hard for. Come and see us for an in-depth discussion about your own circumstances, how the new rules would affect you and what planning would be appropriate for you.
Next month we will look at the new care cap and how that affects you. Is it really a cap at all?
Why not drop into our FREE Legal Clinic at Grange Health Centre Tuesday’s 10 am – 12 noon.