Pensions  

The cost of care could rocket without advice

The divisional director of individual savings and investments at national financial planners LEBC said individuals are unwittingly putting themselves at risk of having to fork out over £100,000 in care costs, becuase they aren’t aware of the benefits they’re entitled to.

She said: “Finding out what they are entitled to can be daunting for clients. A specialist adviser can guide them through the rules and help them access benefits to which everyone with a care need can be entitled.”

From 2016, local authorities will be obliged to offer access to advice from a regulated independent adviser, but Ms Ingram warned any money spent on care fees prior to April 2016 will fall outside the cap, as will the cost of accommodation and food, hotels and any amount spent above the local authority’s ceiling.

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She added: “Those with income of their own and assets in excess of £23,250 will always pay something towards their care costs. But many ignore the generous tax-free and non means-tested benefits available now, and needlessly spend their own money paying all of their costs.”

Background

Research from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries claimed just 8 per cent of men and 15 per cent of women will benefit from the £72,000 limit on what people have to pay towards their care.

The cap, which comes in from April 2016, should mean local authorities step in to fund individual care once a person has reached the limit.

The Institute and Faculty claimed because the cap only applied to direct care costs, people could spend an average of £140,000 before they qualified for support.