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Changes to the way you pay for residential care

Following the introduction of the Care Act in 2015, you may have heard that there are going to be some changes to how you pay for social care in the future. We summarise the main developments and how they will affect you.


Is there now a limit on how much I have to pay for care?

There will be a cap on care costs from April 2020 onwards.

The cap will be £72,000. That means that no one will have to pay any more for their eligible care needs to be met once they have spent a total of £72,000.

This cap will apply to the cost of care that people receive either in their own home or living in a care home.

However, this cap does not include what is known as someone’s ‘hotel costs’ (i.e. their bed and board) if they are living in a care home. These would still be charged even after reaching the cap, but will be capped at £12,000 per year.


How will the way my finances are assessed change?

If someone needs social care, the council does a means test to decide how much they should pay towards their care. The means test is where a person’s finances and assets are looked at.

How it works currently:

  • If you have capital and savings above £23,250, you will have to fund all of your own social care.
  • If you have under £14,250 you don’t have to pay anything at all.

How it will work after April 2020:

  • If you have capital and savings above £118,000 you will have to fund all of your own social care.
  • If you have under £17,000 then you won’t have to pay anything.

To put it another way, anyone with less than £118,000 in savings will be able to get some financial support to help pay their care costs if they need to enter a care home.


How do these changes affect me?

It is important to remember that every person’s circumstances are different and how these changes affect you will depend on what kind of care you need, how long you need care, and your individual financial circumstances.

  • If you’re already paying for care
    What you’ve spent already won’t be counted towards the new cap on care costs. It’s only from April 2020 that what you spend on care will start to count towards the lifetime cap of £72,000.

What should I do next?

For more information call Age UK on 0800 055 6112

Last updated: Oct 10 2017

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