Payment ‘cap’ on social care to be introduced

Published date: 08 Jan 2013 at 2:02PM

The Government has announced that it plans to cap the "potentially huge cost" of social care for the elderly and those with disabilities living in England, but has not outlined what the cap will be or how it will be funded.

Some media reports suggest the cap will start at £75,000 - a figure which has not been confirmed by the Government. This means that people would need to self fund £75,000 of their care before being covered by Government funding.

Care cost high

Social care (not to be confused with health care) is support provided to people to help them with everyday tasks, like washing, dressing and preparing meals.

Most of this support is provided by individuals working for local authorities or the private sector, and the cost is commonly high.

18 months ago Andrew Dilnot suggested a range of recommendations that would better support people to access and pay for social care, as part of the Dilnot Commission. He made a number of important suggestions, including a social care funding cap of £35,000.

Importantly, Dilnot also recommended that care should be free for those developing an eligible need up to the age of 40, and that the level at which the cap is set should rise steadily thereafter. The MS Society supported these proposals.

Left in the dark

The Government's announcement was seriously lacking detail, which has left many frustrated.

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the MS Society and Chair of the Care & Support Alliance, said of the announcement:

“Eighteen months after the Dilnot report was published, and following weeks and months of anticipation that the Mid-term Review would shed light on how the Coalition Government plans to help those facing the crippling costs of care, we now urgently need clarity and certainty on what the future holds for the crumbling social care system.

The Care & Support Alliance now calls upon the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister to give a firm commitment within weeks of how the Government will implement the Dilnot recommendations to tackle the growing crisis in social care.”

Page last updated: 08 Jan 2013
We now urgently need clarity and certainty on what the future holds for the crumbling social care system.
Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the MS Society

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