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Department of Health

Care Act 2014: How should local authorities deliver the care and support reforms? Please give us your views


Charging for care and support

Where a local authority arranges care and support to meet a person’s needs, it may choose to charge the person for this, except in a small number of cases where regulations specify that it must be free.

The revised framework does not represent a major change to the current system and does not extend the ability to charge from the current position. However, this is a complex part of the system and one that is not often well understood, so we are taking the opportunity to clarify the framework that will be in place for 2015/16 in new guidance.

Where a local authority chooses to charge a person, it must undertake a financial assessment of that person to assess what they can afford to contribute to the cost of meeting their care needs. If this ‘means test’ shows that a person cannot afford the full costs of meeting their eligible needs, they will only be charged the amount they can afford, and the local authority will be responsible for the remainder.

Where someone’s assets and income are below minimum thresholds, the local authority will meet the full cost of their care and support.

Further reforms to be implemented from 2016/17, including the introduction of the cap on care costs and the extension to the financial limits which determine who receives financial support from the local authority, will be consulted on later this year.

The draft guidance on charging for care and support covers:

  • the principles which should underpin approaches to charging
  • financial assessments, including the treatment of capital and income
  • the persons’ right to a choice of accommodation when in residential care, and in certain circumstances, their right to make an additional payment
  • the treatment of temporary residents
  • deprivation of assets
  • recovery of debts

Read Factsheet 5: charging and financial assessments

The draft Care and Support (Charging and Assessment of Resources) Regulations 2014 cover:

  • limitations on the local authority power to charge – when certain services must be provided free
  • the process for assessment of financial resources
  • the financial limits which determine the financial support people may receive from the local authority
  • the assessment of capital and income
  • calculating tariff Income
  • particular sums to be disregarded during the assessment
  • ‘light touch’ financial assessments

The aim of the draft regulations and guidance is to broadly re-create the current rules, whilst taking the opportunity to update and clarify the rules.

See also:

Question 20: Do the regulations and guidance provide a clear modern framework for charging that will enable local authorities to maintain existing flexibilities in how people contribute to the cost of meeting their care needs? Are there any particular areas that are not clear?

Read guidance on charging for care and support The Care and Support (Charging and Assessment of Resources) Regulations 2014 The Care and Support and Aftercare (Choice of Accommodation) Regulations 2014 Back to charging for care and support

Question 21: Is there anything from the current rules that has not been re-created that you feel should have been? If so, please list along with a brief explanation of why.

Read guidance on charging for care and support The Care and Support (Charging and Assessment of Resources) Regulations 2014 The Care and Support and Aftercare (Choice of Accommodation) Regulations 2014 Back to charging for care and support

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