Individuals’ contributions to cost of social care in England should be capped, review says

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 05 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4261
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

An independent review into the funding of social care for adults in England has recommended that a cap of £35 000 (€38 700; $56 000) be set on the contribution that any individual makes for care during his or her lifetime.

The report by the Commission on the Funding of Care and Support said that to protect people from “extreme care costs” it was recommending that the lifetime contribution to adult social care costs be set at between £25 000 and £50 000, with £35 000 being an “appropriate and fair figure.” After the cap is reached, people would be eligible for full state support.

Those deemed by means testing not able to pay £35 000 would be subject to a sliding scale of contributions. The maximum personal contribution would be £9000, for example, for those with accumulated wealth of no more than £40 000. Those with assets and income less than £14 250 would not have to pay anything towards the cost of social care.

People in residential care should also pay between £7000 and £10 000 a year for general living costs, such as food and accommodation, on top of the £35 000 contribution, as they would have to pay this if they were living in their own home.

The commission, which began its investigation last July, was also keen to advise on the means test for state support in residential care, which the commission’s chairman, Andrew Dilnot, a former director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, described as one of the “ugliest” he had seen.

At present some residents in England with savings of more than £23 250 have been obliged to sell their homes to pay for the cost of residential care in old age, a situation that has caused widespread dissatisfaction.

The report recommends …

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