Charges for home care services are to be limited to £50 a week, it has been announced.
Councils will be compensated for loss of income under a £10.1m assembly government scheme which aims to end a “postcode lottery” in the amount paid
Deputy Minister for Social Services, Gwenda Thomas said she was “delighted” to be introducing the reforms.
From April 11 people in Wales who receive homecare and other non-residential social services will pay a maximum charge of £50 a week.
In Wales, more than 66,000 older and disabled people receive community-based social services – such as home care, day care and other non-residential services – each year.
Currently the weekly charges for homecare in Wales vary considerably, with some services costing upwards of £200 per week and no upper limit in some areas.
The package also includes an end to charges for transport to day centres, and more scope for people to choose the provider and nature of their care services.
Ms.Thomas said: “I am delighted to have been able to introduce these landmark measures which will make a real difference to the people who rely on these vital services the most.
“These individuals represent some of the most vulnerable members of our society who, without such services, would have a poorer quality of life, with many being unable to live independently in the community.
She called the current variation in weekly charges ‘unfair’ and ‘unacceptable’ and said abolishing the social care ‘postcode lottery’ is an important step towards equality.
“In one third of local authority areas, people who pay the maximum charge will on average save over £7,000 a year following the introduction of these measures,” she added.
“In other authorities, those on maximum charges will save between £2,000 and £5,000 a year. Many other service users on lower charges will also benefit.”