The government has announced new plans to cap social care costs in England from October 2023. This change is expected to see the introduction of a new £86,000 cap on care costs across an individual’s lifetime.
There will also be the following measures of financial assistance for those without substantial assets:
- Anyone with less than £20,000 of assets will not have to pay anything towards their care from their savings or the value of their home.
- People with between £20,000 and £100,000 of assets will be eligible for some means-tested financial support on a sliding scale.
- The new upper capital limit of £100,000 is more than four times the current limit of £23,250. This means more people will be eligible for some means-tested Local Authority support.
If someone’s assets are over £100,000 then full fees must be paid. However, the maximum that a person will have to pay over their lifetime towards personal care costs will be £86,000 as a result of the new cap. If the payment of these fees means that their remaining assets fall below £100,000 then some further financial support should be available. Once the £86,000 cap is reached, Local Authorities will pay for all eligible personal care costs.
Individuals may choose to “top up” their care costs by paying the difference towards a more expensive service, but this will not count towards the cap. There is also an important exception for ‘living costs’ which could amount to additional significant costs. There will be a lot more detail on these changes to come and of course the old limits will continue for the next 2 years, and any monies paid will not be part of the new cap.