The Care Act 2014 brings in major changes to the way the social care system works. The changes will affect both adults with care needs and carers.
From 1 April 2015, the local authority has legal duties to:
- carry out an assessment of an adult’s care and support needs regardless of their financial situation or level of need
- carry out an assessment of a carer’s support needs and provide support services if they qualify
- follow new national eligibility criteria to decide whether or not someone can get help from them
- give people who qualify for help a care plan including a personal budget showing them how much their care and support will cost
- defer the payment of care home fees to a later date or after death, so people will not have to sell their home to pay for their care
- provide independent advocacy support to people who need help with their care and support assessment
- arrange care services for people who pay for their own care if they ask them to
- provide advice and information on local services and how much they cost
- investigate suspected abuse or neglect.
From April 2016, the following changes are proposed:
- increased capital limits for charging people who get support
- a ‘cap’ on how much people will have to spend on their care in their lifetime. This will protect people from unlimited costs if they develop serious care needs and help them plan for future care costs. It is proposed the cap will be £72,000 for adults who are pensioners
- people with eligible needs will be able to register with the local authority for a ‘care account’ that will show the total cost of meeting their needs over time
- new rights to appeal decisions about social care provision.
See gov.uk for more information: