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Eligibility criteria

Fair Access to Care Services

So that everyone is treated is treated fairly and consistently we follow government guidelines laid down in The Care Act 2014, to establish who is eligible for social care and support. The Act introduced a national eligibility threshold in April 2015 which is made up of three criteria, all of which must be met for a person’s needs to be eligible for care and support. All council’s must follow these guidelines when making decisions about who is eligible for care and support.

We use these guidelines to decide whether a person is eligible for care and support following the social care assessment.  The eligibility threshold is made up of three criteria, all of which must be met for a person’s needs to be eligible. The eligibility threshold is based on identifying:

• Whether a person’s needs are due to a physical or mental impairment or illness
• To what extent a person’s needs affect their ability to achieve two or more specified outcomes *
• And whether and to what extent this impacts on the person’s wellbeing

*The two or more specified outcomes which help determine eligibility are:

• Managing and maintain nutrition
• Managing personal hygiene
• Managing toilet needs
• Being appropriately clothed
• Being able to make use of the home safely
• Managing a habitable home environment
• Developing and maintaining family or other personal relationships
• Accessing and engaging in work, training, education or volunteering
• Making use of necessary facilities or services in the local community (such as public transport and recreational facilities)
• Carrying out any caring responsibilities the parent has for a child

We have to consider whether as a consequence of the person being unable to achieve two or more of the specified outcomes there is, or is likely to be a significant impact on the person’s wellbeing. In making this judgement a council will look to understand the person’s needs in the context of what is important to him or her.

If you don’t meet the eligibility criteria we will still provide you with information, advice and signposting to helpful and supportive services which can improve your situation. Our prevention services  can also help support people with lesser care and support needs.

Alternatively our partner Safe and Settled can help people find the best care options for their circumstances. We work with this organisation to ensure that people who don't meet our eligibility criteria, or who are self funders, or who simply want to organise their own care and support, have access a to professional, expert, impartial care advice service.

Prioritising our work

When someone contacts us to ask for support we will firstly ask some questions to find out more about them and the kind of help they need. We will take into account wellbeing, what is important to that person and their family. If it seems that help from our prevention services is more appropriate, or support from other services they will be signposted to these services. Our aim is to support peoples wellbeing and to keep people happy and independent for as long as possible. If however it looks as if social care and support may be needed we will advise that a social care assessment is required. We deal with the most urgent cases first, when prioritising our social care assessments.

However, an assessment is available to anyone who approaches adult social care or who is referred to us, regardless of age, circumstances or social care need. This includes carers and young people who are in the process of transition (transferring) from children's services to adult social care.

Carer’s assessments

From the 1st April 2015, the Care Act 2014  recognised carers in law the same way as those they care for. The Act places a new duty on councils to undertake a ‘carers’ assessment’ for carers who feel they are in need of support. It also introduces a national eligibility criteria for carers, which councils must use when deciding if a carers’ needs meet the new rules and therefore if they have eligible needs for support.

If the council decides that a carer is not eligible for care and support, we will still be able to offer information and advice through the Dudley Carers Network.

A carer will meet the eligibility criteria if there is, or is likely to be a significant impact on their well being as a result of providing unpaid care to another adult.  To decide whether a carer has eligible needs we must answer the following three questions:

• Are the carer’s needs a result of providing ‘necessary’ care for another person?
• Does the caring role have an effect on the carers physical or mental health and/or are they unable to achieve one or more of the outcomes defined in the Care Act 2014?
• Is there, or is there likely to be a significant impact on the carers wellbeing if they are unable to achieve any of the outcomes?

If, the answer to all three questions is yes, then the carer has eligible needs. The council will only decide whether a carer has eligible needs once an assessment of the carers once a carers assessment has been completed.