Cap on Care Costs delayed until 2020

Posted by John Burrowes on Friday, July 24, 2015

On 17 July 2015, Alistair Birt, Minister of State for Community and Social Care announced in a letter to the head of the Local Government Association that a cap on care costs would not be introduced until April 2020. The cap on care costs was originally scheduled for 1 April 2016 as part of the second phase of provisions under the Care Act 2014. The first phase followed the coming into force of Part I of the Care Act 2014 on 1 April 2015. 

The delay in implementation followed fears voiced by local authorities about the potential cost of the cap on top of an existing shortfall in the funding of adult social care. 

The minister indicated in his letter that the cap would have been too expensive to introduce in 2016 especially because the private insurance market had not developed products as expected to help individuals fund the initial £72,000 as they progressed towards the cap. 

The following reforms have also been delayed:

  • The introduction of the duty on local authorities under section 18(3) of the Care Act 2014 to meet the eligible needs of self-funders in care homes. This has also been delayed until April 2020 following concerns raised in responses to the Department of Health consultation in February 2015 about how this measure would work in practice. 
  • The introduction of an appeals system to deal with complaints about decisions made by local authorities on individuals' care and support. This will be considered as part of the government's general Spending Review.
Welsh reforms to adult social care, which were due to be introduced in April 2016, have also been postponed.