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

Published Friday, January 26, 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 “absolute limit” on their 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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The reforms have yet to be implemented; the Government has said that it will publish a Green Paper for consultation on social care by the summer 2018 parliamentary recess, which is expected 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.

During the General Election campaign, the Conservative Party proposed a more generous £100,000 capital means-test limit and an (unspecified) “absolute limit” on how much an individual would have to pay, generally assumed to be a lifetime cap on charges.

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.

This note applies to England only.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-8001

Author: Tim Jarrett

Topics: Community care, Older people

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