Thursday, 30 July 2015

Care Cap Scrap Crap

The care cap plans are being put on hold until 2020 we read in the Guardian Newspaper this week:

I've been commenting under Guardian articles about this issue from the beginning until I'm blue in the face, but it bears repeating; the following is pretty much what I commented on underneath the article as 'clarebelz'.

I sense that the government really didn't think through the ramifications of capping care costs to £75,000, let alone the originally suggested £35,000. What still enrages me about these articles though is the suggestion that anyone without assets - either claiming benefits or basic pension - are exempt from care charges: this is not true.


The care cap isn't just an elderly person's issue either, it also applies to the care costs for everyone who is disabled and has either care at home, or a disabled person that has to live in a care home.

So for example, someone claiming disability benefits - and not at the top rates either - pays a contribution for the care to their local authority. Mine is now set at around £3000 per year. After the 2010 election however, local authorities across the country also removed certain 'assessed care needs' out of care plans, which has meant that people can spend up to £5000 per year or more in total for their total care needs. 

Basically, by the time I actually retire, the care cap would kick in, which would mean that I not only wouldn't have to pay for my care anymore, but if I went into a care home, the LAs would have to fund my full care fees, and if I owned my own home, they wouldn't be able to claw back any fees from that either.

I'm 52, but imagine a much younger disabled person with either a lifetime disability they were born with, or who had an accident that brought about that. It would only take 14 years of paying your contribution before you hit the care cap. And again, that would mean the rest of your life - perhaps a good 40 years or more, where you are not liable paying any care costs at all 
(apart from the 'private care' the LAs deem they no longer support).

Newspapers like the Guardian, still print articles that inaccurately state how people with assets - and therefore liable for the full amount of care costs - are angry because the poor get their care for free: this is absolutely NOT true as I have stated above. I have no assets and my contribution is around £3000, and I pay for the private care element on top of that. Additionally, If you're an impoverished pensioner in a care home, they take ALL of your pension as a contribution towards your care costs, apart from £20 which you then have to use to pay for incontinence pads (and they start at around £13 for 12 in my local chemist). 

Pensioners in that position actually end up with no money at all. Can you imagine not being able to afford even to buy a birthday card for your family, or buy any personal items? People with money would at least be left with £6000 in the end, and that may just cover any personal things that they may need over time. Of course - as I've read from people who comment on such articles - it must be the old person's fault for not saving through their lives, but many have worked in manual low paid jobs where it's hard just to keep a roof over your head, let alone save for retirement.

I think it suits the government to pretend that the poor get every advantage. It's the same with people living in social housing; it's assumed that they get every repair covered. You ought to have seen the state my house was in when I was first a tenant! I've spent thousands on it to improved it.

As for the government delaying the care cap, you can see just how badly this would affect local authorities all around the country. They can hardly fund existing care let alone fund a person in their 30s for the rest of their lives. I believe that this is the real reason that they've postponed it. Yet again, 'back of a fag packet' ideas that are not thought through. I picked this up straight away: why couldn't they? Have they any advisers with even an ounce of intelligence?

I have a reassessment for my care package next week. I'm not relishing the thought of another 3 months of wrangling over whether carers are allowed to stack my knickers onto to the airer or not... 

To be continued.... 

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