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Social care: how the postponed changes to paying for care, including the cap, would have worked (England)

Published Wednesday, July 22, 2015

On 17 July 2015, the Government announced that it was postponing the introduction of a cap on social care funding, and the accompanying more generous means-test, from April 2016 until April 2020.

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On 17 July 2015, the Government announced that it was postponing the introduction of a cap on social care funding, and the accompanying more generous means-test, until April 2020. 

This note was written on the basis that the changes would be introduced in April 2016, as originally intended. 

For more information on the 17 July 2015 announcement, see the Library Briefing Paper Social care: announcement delaying introduction of funding reform (including the cap) and other changes until April 2020 (England).

This note set outs some of the key proposed changes to social care funding that had been due to be introduced as a result of the Care Act 2014

In summary, from April 2016 it had been planned that:

  • the means-test for financial support towards social care costs would be made more generous; the upper capital limit would increase from £23,250 to either £118,000 (for care home residents whose property is included in the means-test) or £27,000 (for others). The lower limit would rise from £14,250 to £17,000;
  • the cap on social care costs would be introduced for older people at £72,000. Importantly, only costs incurred after the introduction of the cap would have counted, and only at the (often lower) rate that the local authority would have paid (rather than the actual rate an individual paid), meaning that for some people they would have paid in excess of £72,000 before hitting the cap.  However, for those receiving financial support from their local authority, both their own and the local authority’s contributions towards social care costs would have counted towards the cap, meaning that for some people the maximum amount they pay for their social care would have been lower than £72,000 before the cap was hit.

On 17 July 2015, the Government announced that these policies would be delayed until April 2020.

Further information on the background to the funding reforms, and on the announcement of the four-year delay to their implementation can be found in the following Library briefing papers:

Information on the current social care funding system can be found in:

This note applies to England only.

 

 

Commons Briefing papers SN07106

Author: Tim Jarrett

Topic: Community care

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