Review recommends care costs capped at £50,000

A government review into the funding of long term care for the elderly is to recommend individuals pay no more than £50,000, according to reports.

The Dilnot Commission is reviewing how the rising costs of residential care for the the UK’s growing elderly population will be funded in the future. Last year cross party talks broke down after Labour’s plan to use a levy on peoples’ estates to pay for care was labelled a “death tax” by the Conservatives.

The commission is expected to recommend that care costs are means-tested and capped at between £35,000 and £50,000, according to reports in the Financial Times . It is also expected to recommend an increase in the level of assets individuals can retain and still qualify for means-tested support. Currently only individuals with savings of less than £23,250 are entitled to free care at home or in a residential or nursing setting, but reports suggest this could rise to up to £100,000.

It is hoped the review will spur the insurance industry into offering more products to cover the individual’s costs up to the cap plus some accommodation costs that are not include in the cost of care. Leading charities have urged the government to implement the recommendations, warning that the system is at a crisis point as local authority cuts begin to bite.

Legislation to cap social care fees following the Dilnot review is expected in 2012.