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Determination of eligibility under the Care Act

The Care Act 2014 sets out local authorities’ duties when assessing people’s care and support needs.

This resource supports care practitioners and answers their questions about assessment and determination of eligibility under the Care Act. It also provides practical guidance over what they should do when applying the letter and spirit of this law.

For brevity and simplicity, throughout this resource the term ‘assessment under the Care Act’ is used to refer to either a Care Act assessment of:

  • an individual’s needs for care and support
  • a carer’s needs for support.

What is the national eligibility criteria in relation to the Care Act?

Section 13 of the Care Act 2014 and the Care and Support (Eligibility Criteria) Regulations 2015 sets out the national eligibility criteria which must be followed to determine if an individual has eligible needs for care and/or support.

  • An eligibility determination can only be made on the basis of an assessment of needs.
  • When determining eligibility, local authorities must consider whether all three conditions are met.
  • Local authorities must ignore care and support provided by a carer when determining eligibility for an adult.
  • If an individual’s needs fluctuate, local authorities must take account of this and ensure that all needs have been accounted for.
  • Local authorities must establish whether the individual is ordinarily resident in their area.
  • Local authorities must provide a record of the eligibility determination and the reasons for it.
  • Local authorities must provide information and advice considering what is available to prevent the need for care and support for all the needs identified as non-eligible for support.

The purpose of this section is to answer your questions in relation to the determination of eligibility under the Care Act and aims to give you practical guidance in relation to what you should do.