Find out how care reforms will work

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People across the Fylde coast are being encouraged to find out how they might benefit from national care reforms that come in on April 1.

The Care Act will see the most significant reforms in adult social care for more than 60 years.

For the first time, there will be a new national eligibility test that all councils will have to use when they assess what help they can give people.

As a result, wherever recipients live in England, or move to within the country, if they meet the national benchmark they will be entitled to support.

The act will also put carers on the same footing as the people they care for, by giving them the right to their own assessment and support from their council.

This could be practical support, like being able to take a break from caring responsibilities, or carers may be entitled to a direct payment to spend on things that will make it easier to carry on caring.

Carers will be entitled to an assessment, even if the person they care for does not get any help from the council, or the person being cared for does not want their own assessment.

In Lancashire there are more than 100,000 carers, many of them potentially eligible for this help.

Additionally, people should not have to sell their homes in their lifetime to pay for care home costs.

Instead, ‘deferred payment agreements’, which some councils already offer, will be available.

Under the agreements, some people will be able to use the value of their home to cover the cost of their residential or nursing care.

In these cases, the council would pay the residential bills and allow people to delay repaying until they decide to sell their home, or until they die.

And, from April 2016, there will be a limit on the costs people have to pay. This means no one will have to pay more than £72,000 towards the care element of the costs of meeting their needs in their lifetime, and many people will pay less.

For more information, visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/socialcare or call 0300 123 6725.