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Care Cap update

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  • Care Cap update

    Care cap and means test changes

    The government's Care Act legislation contains many changes to social care, but the two main changes affecting how care is funded are:
    1. A lifetime cap on care costs set at £72,000

    It is proposed that a cap of £72,000 will be introduced. That means that no one will have to pay any more for their eligible care needs to be met once they have spent a total of £72,000.
    This cap will apply to the cost of care that people receive either in their own home or living in a care home.
    It does not include someone's ‘hotel costs’ (i.e. bed and board) if they are living in a care home. These would still be charged separately even after reaching the cap, however, hotel costs will be capped as well at £12,000 per year.
    The cap was due to come into effect from April 2016 but the government has delayed this until April 2020.
    2. Changes to the means test

    The means test is where a person’s finances and assets are looked at to decide how much they should contribute towards the cost of their care.
    Changes to the means test were due to come into effect in April 2016, but they are now also set to be delayed until April 2020.
    At the moment, your capital and savings below £14,250 are disregarded in the means test.
    If you have:
    • between £14,250 and £23,250 in capital and savings and you are eligible for care, the council will contribute towards your care costs
    • capital and savings above £23,250, you will have to fund all of your own social care.

    After April 2020:
    • the £23,250 upper limit will be raised to £118,000
    • the lower limit will be raised to £17,000

    Therefore, anyone with assets of between £17,000 and £118,500 who meets the eligibility criteria for care will be entitled to some financial support according to a sliding scale.
    To put it another way, anyone with less than £118,000 in savings will in future be entitled to at least some financial support to help pay their care costs if they need to enter a care home.


    How will the care cap be calculated?

    Care accounts will be introduced which will track your expenditure towards meeting your care needs. You will first need to be assessed as meeting the eligibility criteria for care and your local authority will decide a budget for how much it should cost to meet your eligible needs.
    The amount that counts towards your cap will be based on what the local authority estimates it would spend on your care, rather than the actual amount you spend out of your pocket. Some local authorities may start to assess people for care accounts ahead of the changes coming into effect in April 2020.
    Remember that only care costs will be taken into account towards the cap. Hotel costs – the cost of your accommodation and food – will not count towards the £72,000 cap.


    Do these changes affect me?

    It is important to remember that every person’s circumstances are different and how these changes affect you will depend on what kind of care you need, how long you need care and your individual financial circumstances.
    However, about three quarters of us will need some care as we get older. While about half of us can expect to pay out about £20,000, 1 in 10 people will spend over £100,000. There is no way to predict in advance which of us that will be.
    When will these changes take place?

    Initially these changes were going to come into effect from April 2016. The government has now announced that these changes will apply from April 2020. This probably means that someone’s need for care will start to count towards the £72,000 lifetime cap from this date.
    If I don’t go into a care home will this help me?

    Once someone has been assessed as having needs that meet the eligibility criteria, they will begin to build up contributions towards their cap. The cap will apply to both care in your own home and in a care home.
    It's a single cap as well. This means that if you have already received care at home, what you have spent already will be taken into account when you need to move into a care home.

    http://www.ageuk.org.uk/home-and-car...itc=0&ito=8155
    Tags: None

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