This article aims to discuss the effect of COVID-19 on funding care, explained by accredited SOLLA adviser and Partner Louise Osborne. In response to COVID-19 the Government has introduced the Coronavirus Act 2020 (CVA) which brings into place significant changes for both health and social care. The aim is to ensure the best possible care is provided to people in these exceptional circumstances.
The emergency measures have changed the way local authorities establish someone’s care needs, meet those needs and assess an individual’s ability to contribute to their care. The changes should only be exercised where it is essential and have significant implications on the financial support provided for those needed care.
The effects of Covid-19 on funding care for those discharged from hospital
To enable quick and safe discharge from hospital and reduce pressure on acute services, there no longer has to be an NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) assessment upon discharge from hospital
CHC is a care package for people with with long-term complex health needs whose care is arranged and funded solely by the NHS. Instead, the Government has agreed that the NHS will fully fund the cost of new or extended out of hospital health and social care support packages. At the time of writing there is uncertainty about whether the NHS can retrospectively claim money back from individuals.
The effects of Covid-19 on funding care for those moving into care
During the emergency period a local authority does not have a duty to assess and adult’s care and support needs, or the needs of their carer. Funding your own social care gives you freedom and choice as an individual. The removal of the care assessment undermines the right of people to choose what care they receive.
The duty to carry out a financial assessment during the emergency period has also been downgraded to a power. If a financial assessment is not carried out, an individual cannot be charged for the care they receive.
The government guidance makes it clear that where authorities have met the care needs of an individual they have the power to “charge retrospectively” for the care received during this period, providing they inform people there may be a charge at the time the service is carried out.
All assessments and reviews that are delayed or not completed will be followed up and completed in full once the easements are terminated.
The effects of Covid-19 on funding care for those in care, funded by the local authority
In normal circumstances, the Local Authority reassess care and support plans. The Coronavirus Act enables Local Authorities to delay the reassessments until the emergency measures are lifted.
It is important to always seek specialist financial advice from an accredited SOLLA adviser when considering the move into care.
Partner and accredited SOLLA adviser