Local Authority Charging

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The Care Act 2014

The Care Act 2014 is the legal framework for Social Care in England. It is supported by the Care and Support Regulations and Statutory Guidance and came into force on 1st April 2015.

Social Care reform

Social Care reforms including a Lifetime Cap on Care costs of £86’000 have been proposed with a change in the means test funding levels to be implemented under the Care Act 2014 from Oct 2023, a Health and Social Care Levy and increase in National Insurance contributions from April 2022.

Care and Support needs assessment

National criteria for assessing care and support needs were introduced under the Care Act 2014 in April 2015. A care needs assessment (and an assessment of a Carers needs) are free of charge and regardless of funding status.

Once assessed with an eligible care need a financial assessment will determine any client and/or Local Authority contribution.

Personal Budget

The care and support planning process will determine what type of care will best suit the person’s needs. As part of that, the local authority must provide a personal budget. The personal budget is defined as the cost to the local authority of meeting the person’s needs which the local authority chooses or is required to meet.

Financial Assessment

A  Local Authority has the discretion to choose whether or not to charge following a care needs assessment but apart from some services which must be provided for free, ongoing Adult Social Care (unlike NHS services) is usually means tested. When a Local Authority charges for care and support services they must follow the Care and Support (Charging and Assessment of Resources) regulations and have regard to the Care and Support Statutory Guidance.

Financial Assessment – common elements

The following rules apply to financial assessment for both residential care and care at home;

Residents with over £23,250 savings/capital will meet the full costs of their care and are considered able to pay for their own care in full.

Residents with between £14,250 and £23,250 will make a contribution from their savings/capital as a tariff income of £1.00 for every £250 or part of, a contribution from income will also be assessed

Residents with Savings/Capital below £14,250 will not make a contribution from capital, but a contribution from income will be assessed.

Care at home

Because a person who receives care and support outside a care home will need to pay their daily living costs charging rules ensure they have enough money to meet these costs. For care at home, after charging a person must be left with the appropriate minimum income guarantee.

Care in a Care/Nursing home

You will retain a Personal Expenses Allowance of £24.90 per week. If the Local Authority allows you to defer paying for your care against the value of a property, used as security (Deferred Payment Agreement), you may keep up to £144 per week. Please ask us to explain these rules to you as they do not apply to everyone who owns a house.

Remember it is an individual’s care need being assessed and so an individual’s ability to contribute towards the cost that will be financially assessed, any joint savings will be halved a financial assessment.

Deliberate Deprivation

If you give away an asset or do not claim an income or benefit entitlement available to you and the Local Authority and/or DWP decide that this was done with a deliberate intention to avoid paying for your care or access a benefit entitlement then they may treat you as still owning or having it and the financial assessment can include the amount as notional income/capital.

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