There will be no new formula for paying for the care cap in the first year of reform. Instead, means test funding for adults aged under 65 will be used to implement the care cap from October 2023, the Government has said in a new consultation.
In the consultation, which is open until Friday 23 September, the DHSC reasons that only a small number of people with particularly acute and, therefore, costly care needs are expected to reach the cap in 2023 to 2024. It clarifies: “In the absence of credible data, and because we expect the few people reaching the cap in 2023 to 2024 to be aged under 65, we propose to distribute funding for the cap on the same basis as means test funding for adults aged under 65.”
More widely, the consultation seeks views on how to fund the first year of adult social care charging reform, in particular:
- distributing funding for needs and financial assessments
- the extension to the means test
- the cap on care costs.
In terms of financial assessments, local authorities have highlighted that reforms, particularly those that affect self-funders, will generate additional assessments. Three options for distributing funding for additional assessments have been suggested.
The DHSC has pledged to confirm its approach to funding reform at the latest by the publication of the local government finance settlement. Charging reform distribution will be kept under review, the DHSC has said.