Eligibility criteria for carers with support needs under the Care Act 2014

Carers can be eligible for support in their own right. The threshold is based on the impact their caring role has on their wellbeing.

When determining carer eligibility, local authorities must consider the following three conditions.

Condition 1

The carer's needs for support arise because they are providing necessary care to an adult.

Carers can be eligible for support whether or not the adult for whom they care has eligible needs.

The carer must also be providing 'necessary' care (i.e. activities that the individual requiring support should be able to carry out as part of normal daily life but is unable to do so). If the carer is providing care and support for needs that the adult is capable of meeting themselves, the carer may not be providing 'necessary' care and support. However, necessary care includes care provided to support needs that are not eligible.

Condition 2

As a result of their caring responsibilities, the carer's physical or mental health is either deteriorating or is at risk of doing so or the carer is unable to achieve any of the outcomes as specified in the regulations and as summarised in the section Eligibility outcomes for carers with support needs'.

Local authorities must also be aware that 'being unable' to achieve an outcome includes circumstances where the carer:

Local authorities must consider whether the carer is unable to achieve the whole range of outcomes in the eligibility criteria when making the eligibility determination.

There is no hierarchy to the eligibility outcomes – all are equally important.

Condition 3

As a consequence of being unable to achieve these outcomes, there is, or there is likely to be, a significant impact on the carer’s wellbeing, determining whether:

The term ‘significant’ must be understood to have its everyday meaning, as it is not defined by the Regulations, but see the section ‘What does significant impact mean?’ in this guide for further clarity.