The Social Care “Cap” explained

Posted 20.05.2022

The social care cap was announced by the government in September 2021 as a way of reforming social care in England. They recognised that the majority of people cannot afford to pay for their own care and they needed to introduce a new system that means tests people in order to determine how much they should contribute and how much the government contributes.

What is changing?

They proposed something called ‘The social care cap’ which will come into force from 2023. It proposes that £86,000 will be the maximum that anyone has to spend on care costs. However, the small print of this new reform is fraught with complexities and hidden costs that still make paying for social care totally unaffordable for many.

How the new cap works

It is crucial to understand that costs relating to food or accommodation are not included in the £86,000 cap. Accommodation in a care home is at least £200 per week[1] and when you consider that care costs are only going to increase over time, many people will not be able to afford this.

This means that households with the lowest incomes and the smallest assets will be asked to pay a bigger proportion of their overall wealth to fund care costs.

The means and needs test

At the point of someone needing care, they will need to be means tested to find out if they will pay for some or all of the fees. They’ll look at your regular income (including pensions you might have) to see if they can cover the costs of care.  If your income isn’t sufficient, they’ll look at other financial assets such as savings, investments and your home. Only if someone’s needs are high enough and their wealth low enough do they qualify for financial support from the state.

How we can help

If you or a family member needs long-term care (whether now or in the near future), it’s a good idea to seek professional advice and support.

Thanks to our partnership with Care Sourcer[2], who have extensive knowledge of the social care system, they can help you navigate through the social care system, work out the type of care that suits you and how much financial support you are eligible for. They’ll also help you find a care provider on your behalf who can best meet your needs.

This service is invaluable for families who want to ensure that their loved ones receive the care they need and receive as much support as possible from the state.  It is important to note that every local authority is different and has different benchmarks.  Therefore, using an independent company will help you get the right care, at the right price.


The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds selected and may fall as well as rise. You may get back less than the amount invested.


[1] Care Information Scotland, Paying care home fees, April 2021

[2] The services provided by Care Sourcer are separate and distinct to those offered by St. James’s Place.

SJP Approved 15/02/2023

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