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Reforms to social care funding

If everything goes to plan, and lets face it, what is at the moment, the Government's care amendments will begin in October 2023. There have been no comments by the new government as to whether they still plan to go ahead with these but advisers will be paying close attention to what happens to the economy in the UK to see whether these significant funding changes do materialise!

From October 2023 a new care cap of £86,000 on the amount any individual needs to spend on eligible personal care and support needs over their lifetime will come into force. You will need to make sure you are familiar with the "eligibility" criteria and watch the small print! Once the £86,000 has been reached the local authority will then become responsible for providing the funds to meet the care needs of the individual.

We say watch the small print as it is not all care costs which count towards the cost of the care cap. The costs of the daily living in the home are not included. These add up to the most significant amount of an individual's weekly care needs as they include rent, food and utility bills (also known as hotel costs). It is only the nursing care element of fees which are included in the care cap. It is highly likely you will see a change in which care invoices are presented by care homes to ensure these are itemised to identify personal care costs and support costs from other costs. Of course, any additional, enhanced or extra costs will not be included ie newspapers, hairdressers, day trips.

There will also be a change to the lower and upper limits at which social services become involved with care funding. The upper limit is currently

£23,250 and will raise to £100,000 and the lower limit of £14,250 will increase to £20,000. Those with assets above £100,000 will be expected to fully fund their care. Once the figure of £100,000 is reached the local authority may provide assistance until the figure of £20,000 is reached. The amount of assistance provided by the local authority will depend upon the level of income an individual also receives.

With changes due next year it is a good idea to review the position you are in now to ensure that you really know where you stand. This involves understanding how the care system works and what is taken into account with needs assessments, understanding how best to manage the family finances if care is involved and understanding when you need to approach social services for support.

Argo are experts in care advice and support and we have over 20 years experience in assisting our clients and holding their hands through the minefield of care. If you are worried about what the future holds give us a call and take advantage of our free fifteen minute first aid call on 01622 843729.

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