Plans to implement the Act are in two stages:
From April 2015
There will be a duty for all local authorities to offer "deferred payment agreements" for people entering care homes, to allow people to make choices about the timing of the sale of their homes. In Darlington, deferred payments are already offered.
Eligibility and Assessments
The level of need that triggers support will change, this means there will be the same rules about who can get care and support, all over the country.
Assessments currently focus on what service should be provided, rather than on what the person actually needs and wants. The Care Act focuses on the individual and what they want to achieve.
The assessment will also take into account the needs of the whole family as well as carers.
Advice and Information
Good quality, comprehensive and easily accessible information will help people to make good decisions about the care and support they need.
Councils have a key role in ensuring good quality advice is available locally and for sign posting people to independent financial advice.
A wide range of good quality care and support services will give people more control and choice and ensure better outcomes.
Councils have an important role in developing the quality and range of services that local people want and need.
Closer working with key partners, including health and housing will ensure quality as well as value for money and improve user satisfaction.
From April 2016
- Many people currently pay for their own social care support. In the future there will be a limit to how much people pay for their care. This limit is called the ‘Care Cap’.
- The cap will become law from 1 April 2016.
- The cap will be £72,000 if you are assessed as having an eligible need for adult social care support when you are of pensionable age.
- The cap will only begin after you have been assessed as having an eligible need for Social Care Support from April 2016.
- It will not count money you have spent before 1 April 2016, and does not include living costs (such as food, rent, electricity and gas) of staying in a residential home.
- Progress towards the cap will be monitored through a Care Account.
From Autumn 2016
The Welfare Reform and Work Act (2016) [external link] introduces some changes to the benefit cap. These changes, which will take effect in autumn 2016, include changes to the benefit cap levels to £23,000 a year for couples with or without children and lone parents and £15,410 for single people without children in Greater London, and £20,000 and £13,400 respectively for those groups elsewhere in Great Britain. They also include additional exemptions for recipients of Guardian’s Allowance, Carer’s Allowance and Universal Credit claimants who receive payments towards carer’s costs.
For more information about the benefit cap changes please visit www.Gov.UK/benefit-cap [external link]