Review recommends £35,000 lifetime cap on social care costs

People should contribute £35,000 in their lifetime for their social care and once the cap is reached they would be eligible for full state support, the Dilnot review has said.

The Commission on Funding of Care and Support said in its final report Fairer Care Funding - known as the Dilnot review because it was led by economist Andrew Dilnot - that the means-tested threshold, above which people are liable for their full care costs, should be increased from £23,250 to £100,000.

The report recommended that all those who enter adulthood with a care and support need should be eligible for free state support immediately rather than being subjected to a means test.

The Commission estimated that its proposals – based on a cap of £35,000 – would cost the state around £1.7bn.

Commission chairman Andrew Dilnot said: 'Under our proposed system, everybody who gets free support from the state now will continue to do so and everybody else would be better off.

'Putting a limit on the maximum lifetime costs people may face will allow them to plan ahead for how they wish to meet these costs. By protecting a larger amount of people’s assets, they need no longer fear losing everything.'

NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar called the report 'a make or break moment' for the health and social care system.

Mr Farrar warned that without reform, pressures on social care could ‘spill over’ into the NHS.

‘The NHS is absolutely as one with local government on this issue. We need a solution, otherwise there will be a financial crisis, patients and carers across the country will suffer and the cost to the taxpayer will be greater,’ Mr Farrar said.

Mr Farrar said due to financial pressures on the NHS it was vital that a new model was developed for funding social care.

‘The NHS is facing an enormous financial challenge already so it is crucial that we set out clearly how the health and social care systems will move towards a new funding model.’

In a joint statement issued in response to the review, 25 members of the Care and Support Alliance - organisations representing older people, those living with disabilities and long-term conditions and their families – highlighted the need for reform.

‘If we want a care and support system raised to the standards we would all expect, then substantial additional funding cannot be avoided,’ the Alliance said.

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