Update to the Proposed New Social Care Cap
On Monday the government voted in favour of an amendment to the proposals for the Health and Social Care Bill, which intends to set a lifetime cap of £86,000 on social care costs in England from October 2023. However, whilst the cap will cover fees for personal care, it will not cover living costs such as care home fees, food or utility bills.
As the law currently stands, anybody in England with social care needs must self-fund until their capital assets have decreased to £23,250 (the upper capital limit) and at that point is expected to make a contribution of £1 per week for every £250 over £14,250 until the capital assets have decreased to that level (the lower capital limit). The new proposals will increase the upper capital limit to £100,000 and the lower capital limit to £20,000 and anybody with assets between the upper and lower capital limit will then pay a means-tested contribution to their care by an assumed income of £1 per week for every £250 of capital between those two limits.
Whilst the increase in the upper and lower cap limits means that people with less that £100,000 will never contribute more than 20% of those assets per year irrespective of the circumstances or setting in which an individual receives care, the amendment to the reforms mean that only the amount that a person personally contributes towards their care costs will be taken into consideration for the £86,000 cap, not any local authority contributions. Local authorities will maintain a care account for each individual keeping track of their progress towards the cap.
This amendment has been met with controversy, highlighting that wealthy people who fully self-fund their care will meet their care cap quicker than those less wealthy members of society who have part of their care funded by the local authority. The Government, however, has defended these claims stating that the proposals address a “long-standing social injustice” and are far more generous than the current system. The next step is for the Bill to be approved by the House of Lords before receiving Royal Assent and if enacted, regulations and final guidance will be published in early 2022.
How can we help?
If you have any questions regarding the proposed new social care cap, please contact Nicola Hall or a member of our expert team on 01202 525333 and we will be more than happy to assist you.