What is it?
The Care Act 2014 became law in May 2014 and represents the biggest change to English adult social care law in over 60 years.
The Act is designed to respond to a number of challenges:-
- The growing demand for social care and support as a result of an ageing population and increasing numbers of people living longer with multiple long term conditions
- The challenging financial climate, not just for this council, but for the whole of the public sector
- New and innovative solutions are needed to deliver the right support to individuals at an early stage in order to keep health and social care systems sustainable
The Act explains how people can choose the ways they want to be supported and how their care and support should be paid for in the future.
It aims to improve people’s independence and wellbeing by providing personalised care and developing care services that best fit around their lives. This in turn should help prevent, reduce or delay the need for statutory care services.
Changes from April 2015
- A legal right to a personal budget and direct payment was introduced
- Carers have new rights to support on an equivalent basis to the people they care for
- A consistent, national eligibility criteria has been introduced
- Deferred payment agreements for care costs are universally available to those that need them
Changes from April 2020
A fundamental change is proposed to the way people pay for care and support. This will protect people with the highest needs from facing unlimited costs and provide more financial support to people with modest means.
The changes could include:-
- A lifetime ‘cap’ of no more than £72,000 for individuals on reasonable care costs to meet their eligible needs
- An increase in the capital threshold for people in residential care who own their own home.
More detail on the Care Act is available from the Department of Health at the following links:
Care and support: statutory guidance (October 2014)
Care and support: statutory guidance - updates (March 2016)
Other organisations also have information about the Care Act, including: