Arguably, the government’s long-awaited plans for a much-needed overhaul of social protection weren’t worth the wait.
The White Paper on Welfare England and the new Childcare Fee Cap is a step in the right direction to change our broken system. However, it is unlikely to save many people money and do nothing to alleviate the immediate crisis facing social care.
There may be a positive difference for a very limited number of people, but certainly not for the poorest retirees.
The government published its Social Care White Paper in December, which followed the Prime Minister’s previous announcement that a new social care cap would be in place from 2023 and no one in England would pay more than 86 £000 in custody costs over his lifetime.
The new 10-year vision for adult social care aims to provide greater choice for those who receive care and cost certainty. For the first time there will be a limit on the cost of care for everyone in the adult welfare system – there is more detail on this below.
l £300 million will be spent on supported housing.
l £150m will be invested in new technology, such as personal alarm systems and online rotations for staff.
l £500 million will be spent on improving staff training and qualifications.
From October 2023:
l Those with assets of less than £20,000 will have nothing to pay for custody costs – although they may have to pay out of their income.
l Those with more than £100,000 in assets – home value, savings or investments – will not receive any financial support from the council.
l Those with assets between £20,000 and £100,000 will be eligible for help from the council, but will have to pay £86,000 out of their own pocket to reach the cap.
The new cap on child care costs will cover personal care costs, such as help with bathing and dressing, but it will not cover living costs such as nursing home fees, food or bills. of public services.
It is important that we all do both a health plan and a wealth plan. It’s time people stopped thinking about planning for the future as something to do later in life.
Day in and day out, we support the elderly and vulnerable facing issues such as rising care home costs, the desire to stay in their own homes and lack of access to funding for the support of conditions such as Madness. The earlier each of us starts planning, the more options we give ourselves when we eventually need support.
When thinking about protecting your home when it comes to paying for the cost of care, there are a few things to consider:
l If you need to move into a nursing home, you will usually have a financial assessment to determine how much you will have to pay yourself. If you own your home and your spouse, partner or civil partner still lives there, a ‘property breach’ may apply, which means your home will not be used to fund child care costs .
l However, the local authority will consider income, including pensions, when deciding how much people will pay for their own care. This may reduce the household income available to the spouse/partner who continues to live in the property.
l In most cases, couples tend to own property as joint tenants, so when one partner dies, ownership automatically passes to the survivor. One of the main reasons people change this is to ensure that their 50% share of the property passes to their children, rather than automatically passing it to a surviving spouse/partner, which therefore means that the total value of the property could be taken into account for the childcare costs of the surviving partner/spouse.
You can break co-ownership on your property by written notice and then update the ownership position with the Land Registry.
You should then write a will to ensure that your share of ownership passes in accordance with your wishes. However, as an alternative, you can consider your home as an investment to fund your care. This would give you a greater ability to choose where you would like to be cared for, near your loved ones and loved ones perhaps, and how your preferences could increase your care costs.
Each individual’s circumstances are very different, so we always recommend that you speak to a specialist lawyer – search for lawyers for the elderly, or SFE, accreditation or visit sfe.legal
Independent Age also has good advice on its website and a free helpline: 0800 319 6789.
l Kelly Edmundson is a solicitor with Yorkshire law firm, LCF Law and a member of SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly), the membership organization for specialist solicitors who support older and vulnerable people.
LCF Law is an award-winning full-service law firm, operating regionally, nationally and internationally, with over 125 staff and 22 partners in offices in Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Ilkley.
l Visit www.lcf.co.uk