The New Care Fee Changes – But Is There A Change?

The previous care funding and duties were monitored and decided under the National Assistance Act 1948. Due to times changing over 66 years, the Government has finally created and approved the Care Act 2013 that is due to come into force in April 2015. Here, we highlight some of the major changes.

If, after having the correct means test assessments, someone has to self-fund their care there is currently no cap on how much that person has to pay. If someone is therefore in a care setting for several years, this could total hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The new financial cap places a maximum of £72,000.00 that can be used for care fees. However this is not as simple, nor beneficial as first impressions give. As an example, if you have care needs and want to enter a residential home, only the eligible needs (approximately £200.00 - £300.00 per week) will contribute towards the £72,000.00 rather than the outright cost of care per week. If a service user is under the age of retirement there remains no cap on the amount of care fees that are paid.

Surprisingly, this ‘cap’ on care fees will not come into force until April 2016.

If you have a property but don’t want to sell it immediately, then prior to the Care Act 2013, the Local Authority had the discretion to place a ‘charge’ on your house. There was no interest payable on this. The care fees would add up, and once the property was sold, the Local Authority would recover their fees.

Now, with the Care Act 2013, the deferred payment scheme has become mandatory but the Local Authority can now charge interest on the amount from the time the charge begins. They can also charge an ‘administration fee’ for setting up the charge.

The Local Authority will not be under a duty to provide a care and support plan for every service user. It will include details of how that particular person care needs will be met and the desired outcomes. Essentially, the service user is put in the driving seat.

In essence, the major change is the financial cap. It may bring relief to elder people thinking that all their hard earned savings will not be spent on care fees. However, there is more to it than just the £72,000.00 cap as detailed above. If you would like further information on this, or care fees in general, please contact us for a free no obligation chat.