The Care Act - what is changing

In April 2015, we will introduce:

  • a new national level of care and support needs to make care and support more consistent across the country; and
  • new support for carers.

Changes in 2015

Support for carers

In England, millions of people provide unpaid care or support to an adult family member or friend, either in their own home or somewhere else.

‘Caring’ for someone covers lots of different things, like helping with their washing, dressing or eating, taking them to regular appointments or keeping them company when they feel lonely or anxious.

If this sounds like you, from April 2015, changes to the way care and support is provided in England mean you may be able to get more help so that you can carry on caring and look after your own wellbeing.

Needs and eligibility

From April 2015, the way care and support needs are assessed in England is changing for the better, meaning that decisions made about the help you receive will consider your wellbeing and what is important to you and your family.

For the first time, there will be a national level of care and support needs that all councils will consider when we assess what help we can give to you. This may result in you being eligible for care and support, and will make it easier for you to plan for the future.

Whatever your level of need, we will be able to put you in touch with the right organisation to support your wellbeing and help you remain independent for longer.

Deferred payment agreements

Deferred payment agreements mean that people should not have to sell their homes to pay for care, as they have sometimes had to do in the past.

From April 2015 deferred payment agreements will be available across England. We already have an existing Deferred Payment Scheme in place.

More about our Deferred Payment Scheme

Changes in 2020

On 17 July 2015 the government announced their decision to delay the introduction of the cap on care costs system and the duty on local authorities to meet the eligible needs of self-funders in care homes until April 2020. The proposed appeals system for care and support is also being delayed.

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.

Cap on care costs

At the moment there is no limit to what care and support can cost, and this means that people with very high care needs may have to pay expensive bills. From April 2020 there will be a new form of protection from unlimited costs. This protection is called the ‘cap on care costs’.

It means that no one will have to pay more than £72,000 towards the care element of the costs of meeting their eligible needs in their lifetime, and many people will pay much less. This applies to people funding their own care and support, as well as those helped by the council.

Alongside the cap on care costs, extended financial support will ensure that more people are eligible for help with care and support costs. The council will assess your finances and we may be able to offer extra help if you cannot afford to pay. Most people will still have to contribute something towards the cost of their care and support.

As part of the 2020 changes, we will provide more financial help for those who need it and people with modest means will benefit too. Currently, only people with less than £23,250 in assets and low incomes can get help with their care and support costs.

The changes will mean that people with £118,000 worth of assets or less, could be eligible to receive financial support if they need to move to a care home. The amount they receive will depend on an assessment of their finances and personal circumstances. We will look at what assets and income a person has and decide how much they can afford to contribute towards the cost of their care and support.

Changes in Richmond

Following the implementation of Phase 1 of the Act, we have been meeting with local residents and partner organisations through a range of forums and events to share how the Care Act has been implemented locally:

Updated: 7 September 2016