Access to Social Care Services
The Care Act 2014 is a new law that introduces new rules to help councils decide who can get support from social care. Three areas must be met for a person to be eligible for social care services, these areas are:
Introduction to Care Act Eligibility Criteria
The regulations associated with the Care Act, 2014 introduced a
national eligibility threshold
to determine who is eligible for support from the Council to meet their need for social care and support. The threshold to qualify for support is defined with reference to three distinct criteria, all three of which must be met for a person’s needs to be deemed eligible. These are:
The needs arise from or are related to a physical or mental impairment or illness
Test 2: As a result of their needs the person is‘
unable to achieve
two or more of
Test 3: Whether as a consequence there is, or is likely to be, a significant impact on the person’s
Test 2a: ‘Unable to achieve’
Care Act regulations
‘a person is to be regarded as being unable to achieve an outcome if the person
(a) is unable to achieve it without assistance;
(b) is able to achieve it without assistance but doing so causes the person significant pain, distress or anxiety;
(c) is able to achieve it without assistance but doing so endangers or is likely to endanger the health or safety of the person, or of others; or
(d) is able to achieve it without assistance but takes significantly longer than would normally be expected.
Where the level of a person’s needs fluctuate, in determining whether the person’s needs meet the eligibility criteria, the local authority must take into account the person’s circumstances over such period as it considers necessary to establish accurately the person’s level of need.’
Test 2b: Specified outcomes for determining eligibility
In order pass test 2 a person must be unable to achieve 2 or more specified outcomes. The specified outcomes which help determine eligibility Test 2 are:
(a) managing and maintaining nutrition;
(b) maintaining personal hygiene;
(c) managing toilet needs;
(d) being appropriately clothed;
(e) being able to make use of the adult’s home safely;
(f) maintaining a habitable home environment;
(g) developing and maintaining family or other personal relationships;
(h) accessing and engaging in work, training, education or volunteering;
(i) making use of necessary facilities or services in the local community including public transport, and recreational facilities or services; and
(j) carrying out any caring responsibilities the adult has for a child.
Test 3: Impact on wellbeing
You must consider whether, as a consequence of a person being unable to achieve two or more of the specified outcomes there is, or is likely to be, a significant impact on their wellbeing. As part of the Assessment you need to determine whether
There is a needs impact on an area of wellbeing in a significant way; or,
The cumulative effect on the impact on a number of areas of wellbeing mean that there is a significant impact on overall wellbeing
Note that the
duty to promote wellbeing
placed on the Council does not trump this eligibility test, and that in order to be eligible for support the impact on wellbeing of not providing support must be significant.
You should consider how the adult’s needs impact on the following nine areas of wellbeing in particular
Personal dignity (including treatment of the individual with respect)
Physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing
Protection from abuse and neglect
Control by the individual over day-to-day life (including over care and support provided and the way it is provided)
Participation in work, education, training or recreation
Social and economic wellbeing
Domestic, family and personal relationships
Suitability of living accommodation
Individual’s contribution to society
The Council must
meet the needs
that it has determined to be eligible in applying the test above. This does not always mean that needs have to be met via a paid for service funded by the Council.
The Care Act places a duty on the Council to ‘reduce, prevent or delay’ the need for paid for support, so where possible a need should be met via
Ensuring that the required support is available through voluntary organisations or universal services
Ensuring that family members, neighbours, the local community or informal carers are able to provide the support required.
The provision of equipment, aids or adaptations, including ‘telecare’, ‘telehealth care’ or community alarms
Through ensuring that support is delivered or provided by another organisation such as health
A short term service that reduces need such as reablement or travel training
It is possible to meet eligible needs via a number of different methods,
These methods will be looked at first as a way of meeting eligible need before exploring Social Care and Health funding.
For further information about the content of this fact sheet or any further queries please contact:
The Initial Response Team provide the first contact enquiry point for social care and deal with a diverse range of requests for information and support from social care and will provide signposting or direct your enquiry to the appropriate service or team for further assistance.
Walsall Community Living Directory
Provides the local community a directory of health and social care support, which includes both universal and community based services.
If you would like information
in another format or language telephone us on
0300 555 2922.