HEALTH care is provided free by the NHS, whereas SOCIAL care, which is provided to people without a significant health related need for care, is means-tested for an ability to pay for it. Examples of social rather than health care needs include the general ageing process, poor mobility, and isolation. None of these are primarily illnesses or serious health conditions.
You may have recently become aware of the Government’s recent announcement that from October 2023, there will be a “care fees cap” of £86,000 imposed upon the overall amount of care costs a person will have to pay during their lifetime. This is a potential benefit when considering the cost of care and care alone.
However, when we dig a little deeper, it becomes clear that this cap only applies to the cost of care. The cost of the accompanying residence resulting from such care remains uncapped.
Therefore, someone receiving care in their own home may well experience an advantage from this care fees cap. However, if people are unable or unwilling to receive care in their own home, they will continue to be assessed for the full cost of their accommodation when receiving care, and this is by far the more expensive element of most care packages.
Please be aware, as is the case now, before a person or their representative agrees to any type of care package, it is essential that they are fully aware of their rights under the law. Sadly, it is all too often the case that people who are entitled to free health care and free residence, as a result, are routinely denied free NHS care. Also, it is not uncommon for people to be threatened with poor quality care or geographically inconvenient care if they do not pay as much as possible for their accommodation when they genuinely do not qualify for health care and will require social care instead. These practices are illegal and in direct contradiction of the Care Act 2014.
For further details please visit our Care Funding page.