Following recommendations made by the Dilnot Commission, measures for care have been announced by the government. The measures will be introduced from April 2016, to ensure that the elderly and those with disabilities are given the care they need without facing unlimited costs. They include:
- A cap on care costs
The introduction of a cap of £72,000 in 2016 means that if someone is assessed by their local authority as having eligible care needs, this is the maximum the individual will pay, before the state steps in with financial support. The government estimates that 16% of older people face costs in excess of the cap and therefore will benefit from this measure.
- Protection for those with modest wealth
Currently, individuals with assets of less than £23,250 get help with their care costs. When introduced in 2017, this limit will increase to £118,000.
In addition to the above, from April 2015 other measures will be introduced:
- No-one will have to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for residential care. If people cannot afford their fees without selling their home, they will have the right to defer paying during their lifetime.
- People will have clearer entitlements. A national minimum eligibility will make access to care more consistent around the country, and carers will have a legal right to an assessment for care for the first time.