Care costs: Welsh people now able to keep more savings


Briefing note from Finders International

People in Wales can now keep more of their savings before they need to pay for a care home.

The Welsh Government has raised the capital limit from £24,000 to £50,000 for the current Welsh Assembly term which runs until 2021.

Compared to the rest of the UK, Wales has a higher proportion of people with lower financial means. The new measures take this into account. In 2011, the Government introduced a limit to the amount local authorities can charge someone for care at home or within the community – £80 per week.

In 2016, the Government committed itself to increase how much capital a person can keep before having to use it to pay for residential care. Capital is judged as savings, investments and the value of the property a person owns, unless a partner, ex-partner or dependent relative still lives there.

Last year, the limit was raised to £30,000 and from April 9 this year; it is now £40,000. The new capital limit makes it the highest in the UK. In England, those with savings of more than £23,250 must pay for all their care. The limit is £27,250 in Scotland.

There are about 4,000 care home residents in Wales who pay the full costs of their care. Some 450 care home residents have already benefitted from last year’s increase.

The move is one of the Welsh Government’s top six “Taking Wales Forward” commitments. Another commitment was to introduce a full disregard of the War Disablement Pension in any financial assessment when charging for social care, which was implemented in 2017. Veterans who receive a WDP need not use any of it to pay for care costs.

Mario Kreft, the chair of Care Forum Wales, said the policy needed to be “properly funded” or local authorities and care homes would find themselves picking up the tab when they were already facing financial challenges.

Danny Curran, founder and managing director of Finders International, said: “This is welcome news for people and families in Wales. Knowing they won’t face social care bills that eat into savings must be reassuring for anyone worried about what they will be able to pass onto their loved ones after they have died.”

Full report here – http://gov.wales/docs/dhss/publications/161014chargingresearchen.pdf

Finders International works closely with public sector clients—local authorities, health boards and care homes—to identify the next of kin in cases where someone has died and seemingly has no will or next of kin.