Paying For Care - 2015 and Beyond

With the changes that come into force in April 2015 with the new Care Act it is hoped the shift from local authorities having to provide defined services to meeting people's needs will provide better outcomes for those needing care and give those paying for residential care better value.

One of the key highlights of Act is that it clarifies the law around adult care and support and sets out a clearer approach to charging and financial assessment of people needing care.

Local Authorities will assess someone and decide whether they have eligible needs. They will then work with that person to consider what types of support might be best suited to meeting their needs.

It is important to remember that not all types of care/support incur a cost to the person. The Act gives local authorities the power to charge for care/support but they may not charge for services which the regulations say must always be free, such as enablement services or equipment. 'General living costs' such as food, energy bills and accommodation will still have to be paid for.

It is worth noting that from April 2016, where the individual has reached the £72,000 cap on care costs the local authority may no longer charge towards the cost of meeting their care/support needs. Unless they are 'General Living Costs'

This has lead the Institute of Actuaries to issue a warning that that most recipients of long term care will pay twice the amount suggested in the cap.

Their figures suggest that only one in 13 men and one in seven women will benefit from the £72,000 cap as only few elderly people would survive long enough to benefit from the cap.

Carl Rich B.A. (Hons) DipPFS DipPFA