Cap on Care Costs Delayed


In April this year, we saw the start of the most important changes to adult social care in over 60 years; phase 1 of The Care Act 2014. Phase 2 has been delayed until 2020.
The Care Act 2014 brings together and codifies several pieces of legislation regarding adult social care, from needs assessment and provision to safeguarding and charging.

The first phase of the Act came into force on 1 April 2015. The second phase, which introduces a cap on the maximum amount an individual must pay towards their care costs, was due to come into force in April 2016.

However, following concerns over the extra expense the cap would place on top of an existing shortfall in the funding of adult social care, the cap has now been delayed until April 2020.

How does the system work currently?

Social care is means-tested. Currently anyone with capital and savings:

  • below £14,250 will have their care fees met for them
  • between £14,250 and £23,250 will receive a contribution from the council towards their care costs
  • above £23,250 will have to fund all of their own care.

The costs people face therefore can run into thousands of pounds in fees.

How will the cap work?

From April 2020 the amount you pay for care if you are over 65 is being capped at £72,000. The cap also applies to younger people with disabilities over the age of 25. This cap will apply to the cost of care that you receive either in your own home or living in a care home. If you are living in a care home you will still be responsible for food and lodging when you hit the cap and a flat rate of £230 a week is proposed.

After April 2020:

  • the £23,250 upper limit will be raised to £118,000
  • the lower limit will be raised to £17,000

Therefore, anyone with assets of between £17,000 and £118,500 who meets the eligibility criteria for care will be entitled to some financial support according to a sliding scale. Only the rate set by the council however will count towards the cap.

It is estimated only one in eight people will reach the cap.

Need more advice?

If you need more advice on how The Care Act 2014 will affect you or a member of your family in receipt of care funding please call one of our specialists in Elderly Client Services who will be happy to discuss your situation in more detail. Call 01708 229 444 or email

This article was written by Emma Thorpe, an Associate Solicitor in our Elderly Client Services Department at Pinney Talfourd Solicitors. This article is only intended to provide a general summary and does not constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as at September 2015.


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