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Elderly will pay more for social care

17th February 2011

The government has decided not to increase the limit above which people must pay for their own social care as part of a move to help councils raise money.

Old Hands

The decision to freeze the threshold for two years has been condemned by charities, who say the elderly will have to pay for longer.

The means-tested care system in England is structured so that people with assets in excess of £23,250 must pay for care homes or help in their own homes.

Assets taken into account for payment for residential care include savings and property value. This has meant some people have had to sell their houses in order to pay for care home fees.

In the case of help at home, a property's value is not included in the assessment.

The upper limit is usually increased every year, but this has been frozen as part of cost-cutting.

Michelle Mitchell, of Age UK, said: "This is a measure that is once again hitting the most vulnerable and is certain to cause considerable distress."

The decision was announced in a letter sent by the Department of Health, which announced that the freezing of the upper limit was essential to "help protect the level and quality" of services.

 

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