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The prevalence and dynamics of social care receipt George Stoye

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Receipt

Receipt of Social Care in 2014–15 these individuals is limited by small sample sizes, but indicative estimates suggest the median payment was around £50 per week and the mean payment around £90 per week. Where individuals received assistance from home care workers, home helpers or personal assistants, but these services did not involve the local authority, 67% reported paying for some or all of this care out of their own income, savings or benefits. Again, the sample size of individuals in this position is small, but indicative estimates suggest the median payment was around £40 per week and the mean payment around £140 per week. Overall, relatively few older individuals in 2014–15 were themselves paying out of pocket for care services – around 2% of the population were paying for home care workers or contributing to the cost of care arranged by the local authority (5% of the population were themselves paying for any assistance with daily activities). 10 This equates to around 3% (8%) of those aged 65 and over who reported difficulties with daily activities, and around 26% (60%) of those who reported receiving some form of formal assistance. Social care expenses therefore affect relatively few people at any given point in time. However, it is important to bear in mind that social care needs and receipt are not fixed states, since individuals move into and out of care over time as their health and circumstances change. A snapshot of care usage at a given point in time will therefore likely understate the proportion of individuals who will ever require social care. This is explored in more detail in the next chapter. 10 Figures from the 2014 Living Costs and Food Survey (LCFS) indicate that 2% of the population aged 65 and over paid for formal assistance in their home. Among those paying for care, the mean weekly payment was £50. Again, the sample size of individuals in this position was very small. © Institute for Fiscal Studies 17

The Prevalence and Dynamics of Social Care Receipt 3. Transitions in Care Receipt Key findings The prevalence of care is much more widespread when considering a longer period of time. Between 2002–03 and 2010–11, half of respondents reported receiving some form of assistance in at least one interview. The receipt of care is a dynamic process, with individuals entering and exiting care over time. 11% of respondents report new assistance after reporting no assistance two years earlier. 7% of respondents report no longer receiving care after reporting assistance in their previous interview. Changes in individual circumstances are important factors associated with receipt of future care. Individuals who previously did not report any care and who report new difficulties (such as with mobility) are more likely to receive future care. Individuals who previously reported care and who stop reporting difficulties are more likely to stop receiving assistance. The loss of a partner is associated with a reduction in future receipt of informal care. Individuals who previously received informal care and who become divorced, separated or widowed between interviews are 13.7 percentage points more likely to have stopped receiving informal care at the time of the next interview (compared with a 32.8% chance among all individuals who previously received informal care). Individuals who did not previously receive informal care and who lost a partner are also 11.5 percentage points less likely to report new informal care at the time of the next interview (compared with a 28.2% chance among all individuals who did not previously receive informal care). 18 © Institute for Fiscal Studies

The dynamics of social assistance benefit receipt in Britain