Expected changes to Adult Social Care (ASC) charging from October 2025 (not yet confirmed)

What is happening and why?

Wokingham Borough Council is aware of the government changes that are due to come into effect in October 2025. Wokingham Borough Council does not have details around how this will work except that the changes and charging will start in October 2025 and not be backdated.

The original date for the changes were October 2023. Following on from the autumn budget (17 November 2022), the changes, known as Social Care reforms or Fair Cost of Care, have been delayed for 2 years.

Visit the UK Parliament website to read the transcript for the autumn statement which was debated in Parliament on the 17 November 2022.

The government is responding to the concerns of local government by taking the difficult decision to delay the national rollout of social care charging reforms from October 2023 to October 2025. Funding for implementation will be maintained within local government to enable local authorities to address current adult social care pressures. This will be allocated at the Local Government Finance Settlement through the Social Care Grant.

Self-funders who are already in a care home in October 2023 would gain access to section 18(3) at the end of the transition period. This would be no later than April 2025 and earlier “if the market can sustain full rollout”.

Read the adult social care charging reform policy paper for further details

Keeping you updated

The finer details on how it will all work are still being decided. We will ensure we have all the updates from the government and will share these with our residents.

The below information explains what we know so far and will update this page as more information is received.

Adult social care reform white paper

Read the people at the heart of care: adult social care reform white paper on the UK Government website

What does social care mean?

Social care is a term that generally describes all forms of personal care and other practical assistance for children, young people and adults who need extra support. 

Social care is about providing physical, emotional, and social support to help people live their lives. For various reasons and at different stages in their lives, some people need support to develop and maintain their independence, dignity, and control. 

Adult social care refers to a system of support designed to maintain and promote the independence and well-being of disabled and older people, and informal carers. 

In England, Scotland, and Wales, publicly funded adult social care is the responsibility of local authorities, while in Northern Ireland it is the responsibility of the health and social care board. These organisations are responsible for funding, planning, and purchasing support.

When does the cap start?

The cap will be introduced in October 2025. It will be implemented for adults of all ages, without exception. Costs accrued before this date will not count towards the cap.

What is changing for social care funding?

Under the new plans, from October 2025:

There will be an £86,000 (October 2023 rate) cap on care costs across an individual's lifetime.

Anyone with less than £20,000 of assets won’t have to pay anything towards their care from their assets.

People with between £20,000 and £100,000 of assets will be eligible for some means-tested financial support on a sliding scale.

The new upper limit of £100,000 is more than four times the current limit of £23,250. This means more people will be eligible for some state support than before.

The government also intends to tackle ‘persistent unfairness’ in the social care system by ensuring that self-funders are able to ask their local authority to arrange care on their behalf, so they can get a better deal. Currently, people who fund their own care usually pay higher fees than people who are funded by their local council.

How will the new means test work?

If your assets are:

More than £100,000

You’re likely to pay your own care fees in full. But the maximum you will have to pay over your lifetime will be capped at £86,000 (October 2023 rate). Once that cap is reached, your local authority will pay the bill. ‘Top-up fees’ (where individuals pay the difference towards a more expensive service) won’t count towards the cap.

If, during your care, your assets fall below £100,000, you’ll likely be eligible for some financial help to pay your care fees.

Between £20,000 and £100,000

You may be eligible for some means-tested support from your local authority. You’ll be expected to contribute some of your income towards the cost of care, but if that isn’t enough, the government says that you will contribute no more than 20% of your chargeable assets per year.

Less than £20,000

You won’t have to pay anything for your care from your assets. However, you may still need to make a contribution from your income.

What does social care cap mean?

A cap on care costs is a maximum amount of financial resource that an adult with eligible care and support needs can expect to contribute in their lifetime to the cost of any services they receive to meet those needs.

The cap only applies to the costs of meeting the person's assessed eligible needs. The costs will only be based on what the local authority would pay for that level of care, which in many cases will be lower than the amount individual self-funders currently pay.

How does the new social care cap work?

When a person reaches the cap, the local authority becomes responsible for meeting the person's eligible care and support needs and for paying the cost of the care needed to meet those needs. 

From October 2025, the government will introduce a capped rate on the amount anyone in England will need to spend on their personal care over their lifetime.

Assets 

What do you pay?

Above the upper capital limit (100,000 from October 2025) Full cost - you are a self-funder
Between the capital limits What you can afford from income plus a means-tested ‘tariff’ contribution from assets. The tariff is calculated as follows: for every £250 of capital between the lower and upper limit, an income of £1 a week is assumed, and this will be payable towards the cost of your care.
Below the lower capital limit (£20,000 from October 2025) You no longer contribute from your assets and only what you can afford from your income. This will be your customer contribution.
What is a customer contribution?

This is your ability to pay a contribution towards your chargeable care services based on your income, benefits, and any tariff income for the liquid capital you have.

For more information please request one of the following leaflets from your Social Worker or our Financial Assessment Team:

  • Non-Residential - Charging for Adults
  • Residential – Charging for Adults

Contact details

Adult Social Care

Tel: 0300 365 1234

Financial assessment team

Email: FinancialAssessmentTeam-Mailbox@wokingham.gov.uk

Tel: 0118 974 6000 (followed by option 6)

What is tariff income?

Tariff income is a way of calculating a weekly income from all of your savings and investments. It is not based on the actual interest or dividends you receive.

To calculate your tariff income:

Currently, if you have savings and/or investments:

  • of £14,250 or less, you have no tariff income
  • between £14,250 and £23,250 your tariff income is £1 per week for every £250 (or part of £250) of your savings and/or investments

The table below shows examples of how much tariff income will be added to your income:

Total savings Added tariff income Total savings Added tariff income
£14,251 £1 £18,000 £15
£14,751 £3 £20,000 £23
£15,251 £5 £21,000 £27
£15,751 £7 £22,001 £32

These amounts may differ and be updated for October 2025 when the changes to rates of tariff income take place.

Does social care cap include accommodation?

The UK Government's Build Back Better: Our Plan for Health and Social Care document does not make reference to accommodation.

However the government has confirmed that the daily living costs in a care home associated with food, energy bills and the accommodation will not count towards the cap.

What is the Dilnot report?

Andrew Dilnot was commissioned by the Coalition Government to look at how to protect the public from the risk of sky-high care bills if they needed care for a long time.

Dilnot concluded that the adult social care system was not fit for purpose and required more funding – both from individuals and the state – for it to be sustainable.

Is £86,000 (October 2023 rate) the maximum anyone will pay for their care?

No. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) guidance also makes clear that, as expected and as Dilnot recommended, “daily living costs” will be excluded. These will be set at a nationwide flat rate of £200 a week (2021/22 rates). 

“People will remain responsible for their daily living costs throughout their care journey, including after they reach the cap.” Under these proposals, people will also be required to use their income – and, if necessary, wealth – to pay for non-care costs relating to accommodation and food.

These costs will be capped at £200 per week (2021/22 rates) for all but are not included as contributing to the social-care cap.

What do the new rules cover?

The cap will apply to the cost of care, whether given at home or in a care home. For example, the cost of help with washing and dressing.

However, it does not cover daily living costs – for example rent, food and utility bills. Living costs for people residing in a care home will be set at £200 a week (2021/22 rates).

Those costs will not count towards the lifetime cap of £86,000 (October 2023 rate).

Will people have to sell their home to pay for care in a residential or nursing home?

Some will. The lifetime cap on costs does not cover living costs, which can add up to considerably more than the cost of care itself.

However, anyone in this position can apply to have the sale of their home delayed until after they die or, if they would like to, they can sell it to help fund their care. This is known as a Deferred Payment Agreement and can be arranged through Wokingham Borough Council.

In this instance, the council pays the care costs upfront and then reclaims them from the sale of the home after the homeowner passes away or the property is sold. This is similar to having a loan on the property.

How can I plan for the cost of social care?

It's all but impossible to predict whether we might need care, what kind and how long for.

The new rules should make it easier as they clearly show how much, in the event you do need care, you will be required to pay.

It is hoped that in time, the insurance industry may offer products that provide cover for social care costs.

Will the £86,000 (October 2023 rate) cap change?

Yes, the amount is adjusted yearly, based on inflation. The government will confirm the new amount year-on-year.

The government will confirm if the cap will be amended due to the 2-year delay until October 2025.

Useful information

Underpinning legislation

  • The origins of the reforms can be traced back to the Mental Capacity Act 2005, the Health and Social Care Act 2008, the Health and Social Care Act 2012, the Care Act 2014, and more recently the Health and Care Bill currently going through Parliament.
  • In addition, the Mental Health Act 1983 – for which the government have set out plans for reform and have consulted on these in a white paper published in early 2021 – the Children and Families Act 2014 and the Autism Act 2009 form the wider legislative framework and context for social care reform. There will be links between these and the proposed social care reforms.

Local authorities are accountable to their local populations in how they deliver their statutory duties under the Care Act and are best placed to understand the care needs of their local populations.

Useful links

Further information can be found within the paying for care and support section of our website

Visit the UK Government website for policy papers on:

Other useful information:

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Page last reviewed: 03/01/2023

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