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Social care: the Conservative Party's 2017 General Election pledges on how individuals pay for care (England)

Published Tuesday, March 27, 2018

This House of Commons Library briefing paper considers the Conservative Party’s 2017 General Election pledges to reform how individuals pay for social care, including a more generous £100,000 means-test capital limit and the introduction of an (unspecified) “absolute limit”, or cap, on lifetime social care costs. A link to the full report in pdf format can be found at the bottom of this page.

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To help pay for this policy, the value of the home would be included in the means-test for those recipients of social care living at home (as is already the case for care home residents, subject to certain exceptions). However, it was proposed that in such cases it would be possible to enter into a loan arrangement with the local authority, thereby avoiding the need to sell the home during a person’s lifetime.

This paper sets out the proposals, comparing them to the current position and exploring their possible implications.

The reforms have yet to be implemented; more details on their implementation could be expected to be set out in the forthcoming Green Paper on social care for older people which the Government has said will be published by the summer 2018 parliamentary recess, which is scheduled to start on 25 July.

Unlike health care which is free at the point of use, adult social care – such as care home places or help at home (domiciliary care) – is means-tested. Only those recipients of social care who have capital of less than £23,250 (which may include the value of their home for those residing in a care home) are currently eligible for funding support from their local authority; those that qualify have to contribute their income towards the cost. In all cases, the amount that a person can spend on social care during their lifetime is uncapped.

This note applies to England only.

A list of other Library briefings on social care can be found on the last page of this note.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-8001

Author: Tim Jarrett

Topics: Community care, Older people

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