Care costs cap now delayed until 2020
The cap on care costs, due to be introduced as part of the second phase of the Care Act in April 2016, has been delayed until 2020. The delay came after councils wrote to the Department of Health asking for the introduction of the cap to be deferred because of the funding pressures local authorities were facing.
The decision reverses the commitment that from April 2016 individuals would be liable only for the first £72,000 of fees for social care such as washing and dressing in a care home or their own home – after £72,000 had been paid then the state would step in and pay from that point on. In addition the plan to increase the assets people can have and still get council help with fees, from £23,250 to £118,000, is also being postponed. A further change that could have reduced care home bills for people who must pay for their own care entirely because their assets are above the minimum is also being delayed until 2020.
Lee Baker, Head of Care Home Fees comments on this situation:
“This delay has caused consternation amongst many older people however; some of them are worrying needlessly. Those people who are concerned that failing health may mean that they lose their life savings when paying for care home fees are probably not aware of Continuing Healthcare funding.
“Anyone, regardless of earnings, savings or assets who requires residential care because of a primary health need should have that nursing care funded by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). There are a number of health conditions which could give rise to a primary health need – such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, suffering a stroke or having a history of heart attacks.
“I believe this lack of awareness of CCG funding for nursing care should also be a cause of some consternation!”
Content correct at time of publication