Presently people who reside permanently in a care home, are assessed by the local authority in which they live as to what contribution the individual must make towards their care fees.
Under the present rules, if an individual has over £23,250 worth of assets in their own name (also including the half value of joint assets) then they are classed as a "self funder" and the local authority will require them to pay the full cost of their care. If any individual has less than £23,250 in assets, the local authority and the individual work out a payment structure where both parties contribute to the care fees.
Ten years ago this threshold was £18,500 and normally the government would raise this annually. The coalition government however has recently quietly announced that it intends to freeze the present limit of £23,250 for a further two years. The intention of the government is stated to be "to help protect the level and quality of social care services by enabling local authorities to raise additional revenue to pay for these services, from residential care charges", i.e. to save the local authorities money.
There are therefore legitimate fears that the failure to increase the threshold could lead to individuals in care being a self funder for longer, until their assets reduce enough to hit the £23,250 limit.
The full text of the Governments plan can be viewed at : http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_123875.pdf
If you require any advice in relation to care fees whether this be care fee planning or challenging local authority decisions please contact Stephanie Dunderdale on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0113 336 3355.
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