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Important concepts for assessment and determination of eligibility

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 care and support under the Care Act?

Care and support” is the term used to describe the help some individuals need to live as well as possible with an impairment, illness or disability.

Care and support options should not see an individual as a passive recipient of a service, but an active participant of the development of care and support based on the outcomes that matter to them and within the context of their individual skills, ambitions and priorities.

Care and support is not a service delivered to an individual but a network of support which seeks to actively promote individual wellbeing and independence and does not wait to respond until an individual has reached crisis point.

Care and support is not something which is facilitated by the local authority alone but incorporates opportunities from other sources such as the individual themselves, friends and families, the local community and social networks, universal services, private and voluntary organisations.

Each of the following functions under the Care Act 2014 describes the help which individuals can expect from the local authority to enable them to live as well as possible with an impairment, illness or disability.



Determination of eligibility