Will Budget address elderly care crisis? #BrowellSmithCares

All eyes will be on Chancellor Philip Hammond this week as he delivers his Autumn Budget, in which he is expected to raise the issue of elderly care funding.

There is a huge shortfall in funding for elderly care and it is a huge political hot potato, as well as the subject of Channel 4’s investigatory show Dispatches on Monday evening (20th November). It’s a problem that successive Governments have failed to find a solution for.

It has been particularly prominent in the news since earlier in 2017 when the Conservatives put forward new proposals for a ‘Dementia Tax’ in its 2017 election manifesto.

What is the Dementia Tax?

Under the current system, people with capital/assets of less than £23,250 are eligible for all or part of their care to be funded.

If they receive care at home, then their home is NOT taken into account as part of that total. If they require residential care then, in most cases, their home IS taken into account (unless a spouse or partner remains in the home).

The NEW proposals suggested that the limit be lifted to £100,000 – which on the surface feels like it might benefit people generally. However, there was a sting in the tail: it was intended that everyone who receives care should have their homes taken into account.

So even if a person receives care at home, their home is counted as part of their capital and they would have to pay for all or part of the care they receive.

This doesn’t mean a home needs to be sold to fund the care: the local authority would typically place a charge against the property.

Who would the Dementia Tax changes affect?

It is estimated that the proposals as they were put forward would affect around 12-17 per cent of people who would have to pay more for the same amount of at-home care that they currently receive.

Some people are eligible for funded care as part of the NHS Continuing Care scheme, but this eligibility is subject to frequent assessment and the criteria are quite exacting.

Can Dementia Tax be avoided?

There are ways to prepare for care home fees: some are responsible and honest; some are shady and considered risky. We will be looking at the options on a forthcoming blog as part of our #BrowellSmithCares campaign.

Channel 4’s Dispatches programme outlined the issues around Dementia Tax, including the impact it has had on families and individuals, as well as the downside of attempting to avoid paying it. avoidance. We will be blogging our response to the Budget later on this week, as well as offering updates via our social media feeds, on Facebook and Twitter.

The issue of elderly care is huge: Browell Smith & Co will be addressing many of the key issues on this blog and via our social media channels, as part of our #BrowellSmithCares campaign over the winter months.

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