Care Bill – It’s a Rip Off.
Recent articles on the new Care Charge Cap:
The Care Bill is designed as a cynical PR smoke and mirrors exercise to make more people lose pretty much everything to pay care fees. But they promise not to sell your house until you are dead, by which time the interest charged by the Local Authority will probably have wiped out any chance of your family inheriting anything but the brass farthing down the back of the sofa. The rich can avoid Inheritance Tax, but the rest of us stand a 50/50 chance of being disinherited by Community Care Tax. And the Care Bill will make that far worse…..
But here is the official version:
What is the charging process?
Care and support is not a free service like the NHS. People have always had to pay something towards the cost of their care and support.
Whilst some types of care and support are provided free (for instance, information and advice), many types will be subject to a charge.
People will only be asked to pay what they can afford. Sometimes the person will pay the full cost, or sometimes the cost will be shared between the person and their local authority.
To decide what a person can afford to pay, a local authority will carry out a financial assessment. The local authority will consider the person’s income, and any assets they own, like investments or a house. The local authority will then calculate how much the person can afford to pay towards their care and support costs.
Sometimes a home-owner may want to consider a deferred payment agreement with the local authority. This is an arrangement whereby the person does not have to sell their home, during their lifetime, to afford the costs of their care. Instead, the local authority pays a larger share of the costs at first. The money that the person owes for their care is then collected from the sale of their property at a later date.
Why does the Government need to change the law?
The rules on charging for care and support have developed piecemeal since 1948. As a result, the current law is hard to follow.
There are currently different systems for charging depending upon what type of care and support is received. For example, the charging arrangements are different for care in a care home, to care that is given to people in their own home. This makes the system confusing, and potentially unfair as it treats people differently, based only on the type of care they receive.
What does the Bill do?
The new law for adult care and support will set out a clearer approach to charging. It will help people to understand what they have to contribute towards their care and support costs.
First, a local authority will assess someone and decide whether the adult has “eligible” needs.
The local authority will then think about what type of care and support that person needs.
Local authorities will not be able to charge people for some types of services, which will be set out in rules called regulations. The Bill allows local authorities to charge a person for any other type of care and support.
If the local authority thinks that the person needs a type of care and support for which there is a charge, it must decide whether or not they can afford to pay. After the financial assessment, the local authority will tell the person whether they need to pay for all, some or none of their care costs. The financial assessment rules will be set out in regulations, so that everyone will have their finances assessed in the same way. When an adult does not pay the full amount, but contributes towards their care and support costs, the regulations will say how much money they must be left with after the local authority has charged them.