Getting care and support

Eligibility criteria

After an assessment, we will decide if you are eligible for care and support.

All councils use the same criteria to decide who qualifies for social care services. This is set by the government.

The national eligibility threshold for carers consists of 3 criteria, all of which must be met for a person’s needs.

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 2 or more specified outcomes
  • to what extent this impacts on their wellbeing 

Firstly, we will consider whether your needs are due to a physical or mental impairment or illness.

This includes the following types of conditions:

  • physical
  • mental
  • sensory
  • learning / cognitive disabilities or illnesses
  • brain injuries
  • substance misuse

If you have needs caused by physical or mental impairment or illness, we will consider whether this affects your ability to achieve 2 or more of the following specified outcomes:

  • managing and maintaining nutrition - access to food and drink to maintain nutrition, and that you are able to prepare and consume the food and drink
  • maintaining personal hygiene - your ability to wash yourself and launder your clothes
  • managing toilet needs – your ability to access and use a toilet and manage your toilet needs 
  • being appropriately clothed - your ability to dress yourself and to be appropriately dressed, for instance, in relation to the weather, to maintain your health
  • being able to make use of your home safely - your ability to move around your home safely, including getting up steps, using kitchen facilities or accessing the bathroom. This should also include the immediate environment around the home such as access to the property
  • maintaining a habitable home - the condition of your home is sufficiently clean and maintained to be safe. A habitable home is safe and has essential amenities
  • developing and maintaining family or other personal relationships – are you lonely or isolated, either because your needs prevent you from maintaining the personal relationships you have or because your needs prevent you from developing new relationships
  • accessing and engaging in work, training, education or volunteering – do you have an opportunity to apply yourself and contribute to society through work, training, education or volunteering if you want to
  • making use of necessary facilities or services in the local community - your ability to get around in the community safely and your ability to use facilities such as public transport, shops or recreational facilities
  • carrying out any caring responsibilities - any parenting or other caring responsibilities you have

Being 'unable to achieve' these specified outcomes includes circumstances where you are:

  • unable to achieve the outcome without assistance or prompting / reminding
  • able to achieve the outcome without assistance, but doing so causes you significant pain, distress or anxiety
  • able to achieve the outcome without assistance, but doing so endangers or is likely to endanger your health or safety or the health and safety of others
  • able to achieve the outcome without assistance but it takes you significantly longer than would normally be expected

Finally, we will consider whether, because of not being able to achieve 2 or more of the specified outcomes there is (or is likely to be) a significant impact on your wellbeing.

We will consider the impact on your:

  • personal dignity
  • physical and mental health
  • protection from abuse and neglect
  • control over your own day-to-day life
  • participation in work, education, training or recreation
  • social and economic wellbeing
  • domestic, family and personal relationships
  • suitability of living accommodation
  • your contribution to society

In making this judgement, we will look to understand your needs in the context of what is important to you.

The impact of needs may be different for different people, because what is important for one person’s wellbeing may not be the same for someone else.

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