Long-Term Care Cap introduction postponed until 2020

Long-Term Care Cap introduction postponed until 2020

We commented in June last year about the Government’s proposed cap on long-term care costs as being not quite what they seemed. Well now they are not going to happen at all until 2020 leaving thousands of families having to find all the costs for a loved one in long-term care until the person’s assets fall below the threshold.

The government is delaying implementing its cap on long-term care until April 2020, as it is too expensive, a letter sent by Alistair Burt MP minister for Community and Social Care revealed on 17th July 2015.

The £72,000 “care cap” was set to be introduced in April 2016, however this will now be delayed by four years.

The letter also confirmed the delay of the full introduction of the duty on local authorities under the Care Act to meet the eligible needs of self-funders in care homes will be delayed until April 2020 as well.

The decision came after a Local Government Association letter earlier this month sent to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Chancellor George Osborne. The letter said it would be “deeply damaging to press ahead with a costly and ambitious reform programme if the very foundations of the system we are reforming cannot be sustained.”

Delaying the cap therefore represents a clear break from commitments outlined in the Tory manifesto – despite the fact that ministers will now be able to inject as much as £2bn into social care in England.

The manifesto originally stated: “We will cap charges for residential social care from April 2016… so that no one has to sell their home. For the first time individual liabilities will be limited, giving everyone the peace of mind that they will receive the care they need and they will be protected from unlimited costs if they develop very serious care needs such as dementia.”

According to the government’s cost estimates, this decision will save £590m in 2016-17 and £2bn until the end of the austerity programme in 2019.

This decision will affect families with anyone in long-term care and anyone unfortunate enough to go into care in the next five years. It is important that families, carers and Attorneys are aware of their choices when funding care fees planning and to ensure this is sustainable for as long as required.

Please contact us for help or an introduction to preferred partners who specialise in this area.

This note is based on an article published in the Society of Will Writers newsletter by Later Life Matters Limited.

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