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Last week The Department of Health announced that the proposed date (April 2016) for changes to the way care funding will be charged, will be delayed until 2020.
It was initially proposed that from April 2016, if you were contributing to the cost of your care, a cap of £72,000 of eligible costs would apply to how much you have to pay towards your care before the local authority will assist.
Currently no cap exists on how much you have to pay for care; your local authority will only assist when the value of your assets (including your property) falls below £23,250.
Delaying this until 2020 means that for anyone currently in care, anything they pay, up until the changes come into effect, will not count towards this figure. Only eligible costs you pay after that date will count.
Eligible costs include only what the local authority would pay towards your care, and only apply after deducting so-called ‘hotel costs’ proposed at £230 per week. So for example, if you choose to stay in a care home costing £1,000 per week, then only £420 of that sum (though this varies by region) could count towards the cap – meaning that you would pay over £170,000 for nearly three and a half years of care before the cap was reached.
There has been much said about, what Andy McNicoll (Community Care's community editor) described as, the breaking of “a key pre-election manifesto pledge.” The Guardian published a number of responses to the announcement from the care sector.