5 December 2014

Why the Cap on Long Term Care won't help you

Following the Dilnot Commission which looked into how Long Term Care should be funded, the government implemented a substantially watered-down version. The headline sounds good - a "cap" on care costs, i.e. a limit to what people will have to pay for their care - but if you look under the surface there is very little good news.

Here's an example to illustrate the point.
  • The average cost of being in a care home is £732 per week. (£1,000 a week is common though)
  • Local authorities will contribute, but based on a rate they set (which would correspond to a very low cost, low quality care home). Let's say that's £530 per week.
  • Of that, part covers food and accommodation (the "hotel costs") while part is the care cost. £230 might be the hotel costs leaving £300 for care costs.
  • Only the care costs count towards the headline cost "cap" of £72,000
  • It would take more than four and a half years to reach the cap (£301 per week) - longer than the average time someone spends in a care home (4 years)
  • And even when you reach the cap it only covers the care costs so the hotel costs will still be down to you
Cap? What cap?

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