The House of Commons has voted to approve the UK government amendment to the Health & Social Care Bill which places a cap of £86,000 on an individual’s lifetime care costs in England and raises the means-testing threshold for state contributions towards the cost of care to £100,000. It should be noted however, that this cap is restricted to the cost of care and there does not appear to be a cap on the cost of “food and accommodation” which often comprises the bulk of the cost of care to individuals.
How does this affect individuals and families in Scotland?
For individuals receiving care in Scotland, the announcement will have little impact. The cap of £86,000 will not apply in Scotland. Since July 2002 the Scottish Government have made a weekly contribution to personal and nursing care for those in residential care. That contribution is £193.50 per week for personal care and £87.10 per week for nursing care which is widely claimed to be to “free personal and nursing care in Scotland”.
In Scotland, there is no cap on the cost of the food and accommodation element of residential care. It is to be seen how the care element of residential care costs is allocated in England however, in Scotland, it is generally capped at the contribution made by the Scottish Government.
This means that where an individual in residential care has over £28,750 in capital they will be required to pay for their care. Where the amount of capital reduces to £18,000 the individual is no longer required to pay and between these figures the local authority pay more, and the individual pays less. This means that the cap in Scotland is in effect £18,000 and the recent announcement will have no impact.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of payment for care contact Karen Wooton who would be delighted to assist.