The majority of Care Act changes came into effect in April this year, broadly concerning new rights for those receiving care and those who provide it to their loved ones, and work has been underway for some time to ensure that we are meeting those duties. However, the government has recently announced that the funding changes scheduled for April 2016 will be delayed until 2020, including:
- a lifetime cap on the amount that people have to contribute to their care costs
- a more generous means test that would have entitled a greater number of people to financial support in paying for their care
The proposed appeals system for care and support will also be delayed, as will a new duty on councils to assess, plan or meet the eligible needs of those who fund their own care, unless there are specific issues around safeguarding or mental capacity.
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The Department of Health has said that there remains a clear commitment to implementing the cap in this Parliament, but these delays will allow time to be taken to ensure that everyone is ready to introduce the new system and look at what more can be done to support people with the costs of care within a sustainable framework. This website will be updated as and when further information is announced.