Adult Carers Assessment and Eligibility
Prior to the Care Act 2014 there was no obligation to provide help and support to carers directly. Now carers are entitled to receive support if they are deemed to have ‘eligible’ needs.
The Care Act introduces national rules for deciding who is eligible for care and support. But it is the Local Authority who makes the decision about whether or not your needs meet the rules and so whether you have what the law calls eligible needs.
You will meet the eligibility criteria if there is likely to be a significant impact on your wellbeing as a result of your caring role.
There are three questions the Local Authority has to consider:
- Are your needs the result of you providing necessary care?
- Does your caring role have an effect on you?
- Is there, or is there likely to be, a significant impact on your wellbeing?
If the answer to all three questions is yes, then you will have eligible needs
What does this set of criteria mean?
- Are you providing necessary care?
This means that the person you care for could not reasonably do the things that are currently being done for them. Or it could mean that the provision of aids and adaptations would help the person you care for to become more independent and less reliant on your support and help.
- Does providing care have a negative impact on your wellbeing?
This means that you may be providing care that is deemed to be harmful to your physical or mental wellbeing or it makes it difficult, dangerous or impossible to achieve basic outcomes such as:
- Looking after children
- Providing care to other people
- Maintaining your home to an acceptable standard
- Eating properly
- Maintaining and developing relationships with family and friends
- Engaging in work, education, training or volunteering
- Having time for social activities, hobbies and other leisure activities
In considering whether or not you can achieve these outcomes, the law says that the local authority must take into account any difficulties you have.
You will be considered unable to achieve the outcome if you:
- need assistance to achieve the outcome
- can achieve the outcome unaided but experience pain, distress or anxiety
- can achieve the outcome unaided but doing so endangers, or may endanger your or another person’s health and safety
- Is the impact on your wellbeing significant?
The law does not define ‘significant’ as many people have different circumstances and priorities, which would mean not achieving them, would have different impacts on different people.
In order to determine the significance for you, your needs must be carefully assessed to determine what is important to you and how your caring role impacts on your ability to achieve those outcomes that are important to you.
The local authority has a duty to provide this support either directly to you as a carer, or to the person you care for, with the aim of reducing the impact of caring on you, or a mix of the two.