Southend's Adults Information PointSHIP Families

Care Act Finance

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Following the Government announcement in mid-July that the implementation of the financial parts of the Care Act will be delayed, here are some useful FAQs that should help you to understand the changes.  If after reading these you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact the council on 01702 215008.

Q.  I’ve heard that the cap on care costs won’t be coming in next year. Is this true?

A.  Yes. The cap on care costs was due to be introduced in April 2016, but has now been delayed to April 2020.

Q. Why has the government taken this decision?

A.  The government has said that this has been a difficult decision, but that they have listened to concerns about the timetable for implementation and calls for more funding for care and support. They have said that the delay will allow time to be taken to ensure that everyone is ready to introduce the new system and to look at what more can be done to support people with the costs of care. The government have said they remain fully committed to introducing a cap on social care costs and helping people manage the costs of their social care.

Q.  Does this mean I will now have to pay for all of my care?

A.  Everyone’s situation is different, both in terms of their financial situation and the type and cost of care they may need. Most people currently pay something towards their care and support costs, and will continue to do so.  Southend Borough Council can advise you on how much you may have to contribute towards the cost of your care. We can also help you find out if there are any additional benefits or financial support you may be entitled to.  Please also see ‘Money Matters’.

Q.  Will I have to sell my home to pay for care?

A.  For those who do have to pay the full cost of residential care, there is now a national scheme called a Deferred Payment Agreement, which means you should not have to sell your home within your lifetime to pay for your care.  Southend has been operating a deferred payment scheme for some years.  Please see information on Deferred Payments if you are arranging residential care, or phone 01702 215008 for more information.

Q.  I am a ‘working age adult’. How does this affect me?

A.  The funding reforms, including the proposals for the cap on care costs for working age adults, has now been delayed until April 2020.

Q.  I have requested a care assessment, but haven’t yet had one. Will this still happen?

A.  Yes, you are entitled to an assessment of your care needs regardless of your financial circumstances. If you are a carer, you are also entitled to an assessment of your needs. The delay in the cap on care costs does not affect your entitlement to an assessment.  Please phone 01702 215008 if you need a care assessment.

Q.  I think I will have to pay for the full costs of my care. Will I have to wait until April 2020 to get my care costs account started?

A. Yes. Once we know the exact implementation timetable, you will receive details about how and when to start your care account. In the meantime the council can provide you with information and advice about things, like choosing a care provider.  Please search our information directory and the PA register for a list of local care providers.

Q.  I was told that there would be changes to the means test in April 2016. Has this also been delayed?

A.  Yes. A 'means test' is where a person’s finances and assets are looked at to decide how much they will be asked to contribute towards their care. At the moment, if you have capital and savings above £23,250 you will fund all of your social care.

Q.  Where can I find out more information?

A.  Southend Borough Council can provide you with further information about these changes, and we will be able to signpost you to local organisations that can offer further advice and support. Phone 01702 215008.