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Key Care Act duties 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 are the general duties of the Care Act 2014?

The Care Act specifies the general legal duties that Local Authorities have towards every individual living in their local area, regardless of whether they have needs for care and support, eligible needs, or neither. These duties apply regardless of how long individuals have been living in the local area for.

These general duties are:

  • Promoting individual wellbeing
  • Preventing needs for care and support
  • Promoting integration of care and support with health services
  • Providing information and advice
  • Promoting diversity and quality in provision of services
  • Co-operating
  • Safeguarding adults at risk of abuse or neglect

Care Act duties applicable to the assessment of needs and determination of eligibility

All the Care Act general duties are applicable to the assessment of needs and determination of eligibility, along with:

  • Assessing needs
  • Determining eligibility
  • Establishing where a person lives
  • Providing independent advocacy support
  • Discharging patients with care and support needs from hospital
  • Enabling after-care under the Mental Health Act 1983
  • Supporting prisoners and persons in approved premises
  • Supporting transitions for children to adult care and support

Operational guidance of Care Act duties during assessment and eligibility

The following list demonstrates how some of the key Care Act duties can be applied within your operational practice.

  • Promote individual wellbeing
  • Individual wellbeing during a determination of eligibility
  • Prevent the need for care and support during an assessment
  • Information and advice during an assessment