The Care Act 2014 sets out the law regarding people being cared for. It outlines the way in which local authorities should carry out care needs assessments; how local authorities should determine who is eligible for support; the new obligations on local authorities; and how local authorities should charge for residential care.
Included within the Act is a national eligibility criteria. This introduces a minimum threshold for care of the elderly and if the person being cared for meets this threshold, they will have eligible needs.
Following a financial assessment, the local authority will then have to agree with the person assessed which of their eligible needs they will meet and how.
There are four categories of need: critical, substantial, moderate and low. Local authorities have to provide services to those who fall within the critical band (but can choose to provide services for people who fall into the other bands).
The Care Act introduces a general duty on local authorities to promote an individual’s ‘wellbeing’. This means that they should always have a person’s wellbeing in mind and when making decisions about them or planning services.
The wellbeing principles are also part of the eligibility criteria. Local authorities have to consider the impact of a person's needs on their wellbeing. If the impact is significant then the eligibility criteria are likely to be met.
The financial assessments for residential care will be very similar to the pre-2014 situation – with the same upper capital limit of £23,350 and the same lower capital limit of £14,250. (N.B These limits are expected to change from April 2020).
With so much to consider, understanding The Care Act 2014, and the impact it has on your individual care home choice can be a little confusing. Let us help, our knowledgeable and experienced Home Managers are available to assist you through the whole process.