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An older lady and carer

The Government is proposing a new funding system for social care. But will it be fair?

As we get older, many of us will need some help from social care, but people who need to pay for care in later life often have little protection from catastrophic costs.

Some people living with long term conditions like Alzheimer's disease can need care and support for decades – at a cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds. The Government wants to change things so that people will not lose all of their savings and assets. And we want you to have your say.

>> Have your say now

Cap on care costs

The Government has proposed to set a lifetime cap on care costs of £72,000, due to come into effect in April 2016. The idea is that once you reach the cap, the Government will take over your care payments.

You will also be able to qualify for some support if you have savings – up to £27,000 for people living at home and £118,000 for people living in residential care.

These caps are substantially higher than the current threshold, and aim to protect people against having to spend everything they have on care. Watch our animated film to find out more.

How will it work?

Although this seems fairer, unfortunately the system is flawed:

  • Only support deemed necessary by your local authority will count towards the cap, and only at the rate the local authority would be prepared to pay
  • You will be responsible for any ‘extra’ care costs (for example, if you choose a more expensive care option).
  • If you are in residential care, such as a care home, you will be responsible for your own general living costs (such as food and board), which won't count towards the cap.

Even once you reach the cap, the extra care costs and the daily living costs will still have to be paid. Also, money spent before the cap comes into force in April 2016 won't be counted towards the cap.

Jenny and James' story

How you can help

The Government is now consulting on how the cap will work in practice. It’s vital that people who may be covered by the cap have a chance to have a say.  
Tell the government what you think can be done to improve the proposals [Link to action page]

The Government is now consulting on how the cap will work in practice. It’s vital that people who may be covered by the cap have their say.

Take action now and tell the government what you think can be done to improve the proposals.

>> Tell the government what you think

Further information

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 169 6565