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Social Care Update

Volume 703: debated on Wednesday 17 November 2021

On 7 September 2021, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister set out the Government’s new plan for adult social care reform in England. This included a lifetime cap on the amount anyone in England will need to spend on their personal care, alongside a more generous means test for local authority financial support.

Today we are publishing a technical note to complement the announcement, which:

provides further detail of the new charging reform framework and confirms key policy details, including the standard level at which ‘daily living costs’, will initially be set.

marks the start of a period of co-production of the statutory guidance with the sector, with the intention to publish a public consultation in the new year, and lay regulations and publish updated statutory guidance in spring 2022.

The key policy details that the technical note confirm are that:

from October 2023 both new entrants and existing social care users will be able to progress towards the cap.

the increase in the Upper Capital Limit of £100,000 will apply universally, irrespective of an individual’s care setting or circumstances.

between the Upper and Lower Capital limits, if individuals are not able to pay for their care from their income, they will be expected to contribute up to one in every £250 from their chargeable assets towards the cost of their care.

the notional level of ‘daily living costs’, a key concept of the reforms, will be set at £200 per week.

for individuals who receive financial support for their care costs from their local authority, it is the amount that the individual contributes towards these costs that will count towards the cap on care costs.

This last point requires an amendment to section 15 of the Care Act 2014. For this reason, the Government will bring forward an amendment for the purposes of introducing a clause into the current Health and Care Bill. This clause will seek to amend section 15 of the Care Act 2014 such that individual contributions—based on local authority rates—will count toward the cap.

This change will reduce complexity; it will ensure individuals receive the support they need through the means test but are not unfairly reaching the cap at an artificially faster rate than what they contribute.

I have ensured a copy of the technical note will be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses.