The Care Cap

What the Cap on Care Costs will really mean to you

At My Care at Home we have been recently seen an increase of the number of clients and individuals who contact us for advice. Care-Cap-Pic
They believe that due to the implementation of the Care Act 2014 Care Capthey will be protected by a “Care Cap” that will ensure that there is a limit of £72,000 on the total they will ever have to pay for their care costs.

Unfortunately this is incorrect and the reality is that the care cap is that it is a cap that doesn’t fit.

What is the Care Cap?

The government are introducing a cap on the cost of long term care. The cap is set at £72,000 and once this amount has been spent the Government will take over paying their costs. The idea is that this will protect people from using up all of their savings in order to fund their care. As well as this people will be able to keep more in savings before being eligible for financial support.

This all sounds like a good idea and in theory it should be. However there are several issues with the proposal that affect how the cap will work in practice for older people.

Firstly, you will need to be assessed by your local authority as having needs that are high enough to be eligible for care. This means the cap will only apply to people with higher support needs. You will then need to have a care account opened with your local council.

The next thing to consider is the fact that the cap only includes money spent on ‘care costs’. For people needing residential care this will mean paying extra for accommodation, food and any other ‘living costs’. These extra costs do not counts towards the cap. So in reality, most people will have to spend far more than £72,000 before becoming eligible for help with care costs.

Another thing to consider is that the cap only includes spending on care services at the rate a council would pay for that same service. Councils are able to arrange deals from their care providers because they are buying in bulk, which means most individuals paying for their own care will pay a higher rate than the council does for the same care. Again these ‘top up payments’, do not count towards the cap.

Finally the cap on care has been set at an amount that is more than twice as high as was originally suggested by the Dilnot Commission. By setting the cap at such a high level it will mean that most people will never reach it. It has been estimated by the Department of Health that just 8% will benefit from the care cap. Money people have already spent on their care won’t count towards the cap.

The care system is complicated and difficult to navigate and for those that suddenly find themselves needing to arrange care in a crisis this will be an extra issue to understand. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you navigate through this system please contact us on 01449 763086.

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