Assessing your care needs
Your local authority will help you identify the right care for you, and will provide information and advice on different services that are available locally.
Staff at your local authority will discuss with you whether your care needs are eligible for state support. Local authorities look at an individual’s circumstances to determine what support to offer, taking into account your level of needs, the support available to you, and what you are trying to achieve.
If you have eligible care needs, your local authority will tell you how much it would cost them to meet them.
Cost of your care
What you pay will depend on the care you need, and the value of your assets and income.
Care costs are being capped at £75,000, which is the limit on the amount that you will have to spend on eligible care over your lifetime.
Once you have reached the cap, your local authority will pay your eligible care costs for the rest of your life. If you qualify for means-tested support you could spend less than this amount.
The full cost of your care package counts towards the cap, not your contribution to it. This means if you have modest wealth then the amount you may have to spend on eligible care needs could be less than the full level of the cap. For example, if you are in residential care in 2017 and have assets including your home of £50,000, pay a local authority rate of around £34,000 per year for residential care, and cannot pay for these costs from income, then you could only have to pay £17,000 to meet your eligible care needs.
|The value of your assets||The amount you could pay to meet the costs of your eligible needs|
|£17,500 or less||£0||£0|
Your general living costs in residential care
The cap only covers care costs. If your needs are met in residential care you will be expected to contribute towards your general living costs, like food, accommodation and light, as you would if you were living in your own home.
This amount will be set nationally. It has been set at £10,000 on 2010/11 prices, which is expected to be around £12,000 in April 2017.
As is the case now, if you cannot pay for this from your income, then you may get support from your local authority.
Changing needs and deferring your payments
Your care needs may change over time. Your local authority will continue to discuss with you the best way to meet these needs. They will also keep you informed of your progress towards your cap, any costs that you would have to pay and the options for how these costs can be funded in the way that suits your best.
You will not have to sell your home in your lifetime to pay for residential care. If you cannot afford reasonable residential care fees without selling your home, you will have the right to defer paying during your lifetime.
Read a case study about Sissy.
You will be able to choose to buy more expensive services. For example, employing a cleaner for your home, or choosing a care home with an extra room for family visits. But you will have to pay for them, and these costs would not count towards the cap.
See a graph and flowchart explaining how the reformed care and support funding system will work and how it will affect what people pay towards their care costs.
And for answers to some frequently asked questions, see the FAQ page.