What is the Care Act?
In April 2015 a new Act came into effect, The Care Act 2014, and replaced most of the previous legislation regarding people being cared for and their carers.
This new legislation brought a raft of changes centred around the following:
- It laid out how local authorities should carry out assessments for both those needing care and for carers.
- It stipulated how local authorities should decide who is eligible for support.
- It outlined how local authorities should charge for both residential care and community care.
- It placed new obligations on local authorities.
Who Is Eligible Under the Care Act?
The Care Act is mainly concentrated on the requirements of adults in need of care and support, and on their adult carers. While there is some provision in the Act for the transition of children in need of care and support; parent carers of children in need of care and support; and young carers, the main provisions for these groups (before transition) is in the Children and Families Act 2014.
What Are the Capital Limits For Receiving Services?
From April 2017 the lower capital limit for both residential care and community care is £14,250. The upper capital limit for both residential care and for community care is £23,250.
Does the Local Authority Have to Provide any Help to Self-Funders?
Under the new legislation self-funders are able to ask the local authority to arrange services on their behalf. However, they have not been able to request the arrangement of residential care. One advantage of requesting services is that the local authority may be able to get cheaper rates, however it’s also important to factor in whether the local authority charges an arrangement fee for this. The responsibility still lies with the local authority for providing information and advice to self-funders.
I Have Heard There is Going to Be a Cap on Care Costs, When is This Expected to Happen?
The Government had planned to introduce a cap on care costs. It was suggested that there would be a cap on the maximum amount of care costs someone has to pay during their lifetime, which would be £72,000 for those of retirement age. However this has been postponed until 2020 at the earliest, and there is no certainty that it will ever come into effect.
Can I Protect my Assets From Any Future Potential Care Costs?
Yes there are a number of options depending on your individual circumstances. This is a complex area of advanced legislation where no two situations are the same. For more information please click here.
I Provide Care for my Disabled Child. Can I Have an Assessment Separately to my Child?
Yes. The Children and Families Act 2014 gives you a standalone right to an assessment as the parent of a disabled child.
If I disagree With a Decision Social Services Have Made, What Are My Options to Challenge It?
Yes anyone who is dissatisfied with the outcome of any assessment or with the way they feel they have been treated can make a complaint to social services. All social services departments should have a copy of the complaints procedure available for you to follow.
If you follow the complaints procedure and are not happy with the outcome then there is the option to take your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. Please request further information on this from your local social services department should you need it.
For general informational purposes only, not intended or to be taken as legal advice. To make sure this is appropriate for you please seek advice and contact us.