Clear and simple guidance to help older people find their way through the care maze
The Care Act replaced a good deal of the preceding legislation and guidance covering the care needs and the right to support of both adults with social care needs and their informal carers.
The first part of the Act came into force in April 2015. The second part was due to come into force in April 2016, however the government delayed this until April 2020.
How some of the legislation introduced in April 2015 may affect you...
You will have a right to a free needs assessment from your local authority, even if it thinks your finances are too high or your needs are too low to qualify for help.
A new national eligibility criteria will be used by all local authorities to decide whether someone can get help from them.
If you get social care support, you will now have a right to request a personal budget, even if you’re not offered one. This is a calculation of how much your local authority thinks your care should cost.
If you don’t qualify for help from your local authority after they have assessed your needs, they must still advise you how the care system works and how to pay for your own care. For instance, if require some help with house work and shopping your local authority should help you to find this.
If you require residential care 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 services for you. It can only charge you as much as someone whose care they are funding.
If you’re a carer, you have a legal right to a care assessment from the local authority, and if you qualify you can also get support services.
If you find it difficult to communicate or to understand the issues being discussed, your local authority must provide an advocate to help you when discussing your care if you do not have a friend or relative who can help.
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The changes that have been delayed until 2020
The part of The Care Act that was due to be introduced in April 2016 basically covered the funding of care. The government have delayed this and said they aim to introduce it in April 2020. However a lot can change between now and 2020, therefore we do not think it wise to discuss these proposed changes as they could be quite different or even not take place at all.
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