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With the introduction of the Care Act in 2014, what are you and your loved one’s rights and what responsibility does your local authority have for care?
We have set out some of the main detail and further links to help you find out more. With thanks to Age UK for collating information.
Useful further links:
Download and read or print off Age UK’s Introduction_to_the_Care_Act_2014
If you have any concerns regarding home care, please don’t hesitate to call us 01904 720 700 or get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Key points of the Care Act 2014
Coming into force from April 2015 here’s what you should know:
- You have the right to a free needs assessment from your local authority, whatever your financial or medical circumstances.
- All local authorities will use a National Eligibility Criteria to decide if someone is eligible for care.
- If you get social care support you have a right to request a personal budget. This is a summary of how much the local authority thinks your care should cost – useful if you want to pay for your own care.
- If your assessment shows you don’t qualify for local authority support, it must still give advise and support, e.g. if you just need a hand with housework it should assist you in finding this.
- You can defer selling your home to pay your care fees until after your death.
- If you’re paying for your own care, you can ask your local authority to arrange your services for you. It can only charge you as much as someone whose care it is already funding.
- If you’re a carer, you have a legal right to request a care assessment from the local authority, plus, support services if you qualify.
- If you find it difficult to communicate or understand any issues being discussed the local authority must provide an advocate to help you, it will represent your interests if you don’t have a friend or relative who can help.
- The local authority must provide preventative services that could reduce or delay your need for care, e.g. intermediate home care after a hospital stay could keep you independent for longer.
Coming in 2020…
There are further changes set to come in for 2020. These may include:
- A cap on how much you have to spend on your care needs. Anything you or your local authority spends on your eligible needs will be added up in your care account. Once it reaches £72,000, the local authority will pay for all your eligible needs. This will exclude your daily living costs, things like food and accommodation in a care home. The proposed figure of £72,000 for the cap could change by 2020 due to inflation.
- Your local authority can reassess your care needs, even if you pay for your own care. This is because the local authority works out how much your care should cost to meet your eligible needs, and adds this up. It needs to check every so often that the amount it thinks you should be spending is still correct.
- New rules about top-up fees in care homes mean you may be able to pay them yourself. Top-up fees may apply if you move into a care home that costs more than the local authority can pay.
- If you’re not happy about a decision made about your care, you have a new right to complain and appeal, and for this to be independently investigated.
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