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Pay-when-you-die care scheme to be introduced

Pensioners will be able to borrow money from the government to pay for care home fees, under new plans to be unveiled by ministers later today (11 July). Councils will then recover the monies after death from the proceeds of the sale of the person’s house.

11 July 2012

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The pay-when-you-die scheme is intended to stop people having to sell their homes to pay for care and is set to be introduced in 2015.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley is expected to unveil the new scheme in the long-delayed white paper on social care, which is due to be published today. He is expected to confirm that key decisions on funding will be delayed until at least 2014.

In an article for the Daily Telegraph, Lansley said: “Our plans will end the scandal of people being forced to sell their home to pay for their care. From 2015, everyone will be able to get a loan instead of having to sell their home while they are alive.

“I recognise that we can go further. We can enable people not to lose everything they have worked and saved for if they need care for several years. That is why we agree in principle that a limit on the amount that people pay themselves for the long-term care they receive would be the right way forward.”

The new scheme will order councils to provide the loans. They will be able to charge “nominal” interest – probably in line with inflation – so that it does not cost them money. The loans will be repaid after someone dies, either by selling their home or by the heirs re-mortgaging the property, reports the Telegraph.

Details will be negotiated between the government and local authorities in the coming months, and the level of interest payments is likely to prove crucial.

In the article, Lansley also pledges to end the “postcode lottery” which faces people needing care. “We will for the first time set out that people in need of care and support have minimum rights and standards that they can expect – wherever they live,” he says. “So an older person can move closer to their loved ones with greater confidence that their care will continue.”

The proposals are unlikely to placate campaigners who are increasingly angered over delays to fundamental reforms of the care system.

For Andrew Lansley’s full article in the Telegraph see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/elderhealth/9391156/Andrew-Lansley-a-w...

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