Are my needs eligible for social care support?
The local authority will not meet every need for care and support that you have. Your needs will only be met if they satisfy the eligibility criteria.
When the local authority is considering whether you have eligible needs, it will look at:
- what kind of health problem causes your needs for care and support
- whether your needs affect your ability to do certain things
- how your needs affect your day-to-day living.
The law on eligibility is slightly different depending on whether you're in England or Wales.
What are the eligibility criteria in England?
To meet the eligibility criteria in England, you must show that:
- Your needs for care and support arise from certain health problems.
- As a result, you're unable to do certain things.
- There is a significant impact on your wellbeing.
1. Your needs for care and support arise from certain health problems
Firstly, you'll need to show that your needs for care and support arise from certain health problems. This includes:
- mental health problems
- physical ill-health
- learning disabilities
- cognitive disabilities
- dependence on alcohol or drugs.
You don't need to have a specific diagnosis to be eligible for social care and support.
2. As a result, you're unable to do certain things
Next, the local authority will assess whether you're unable to do certain things. These are:
- eating and drinking
- maintaining personal hygiene
- managing toilet needs
- being appropriately clothed (dressed)
- being able to make use of your home safely
- keeping your home clean, safe and hygienic
- developing and maintaining family or other personal relationships
- accessing and engaging in work, training, education or volunteering
- using necessary facilities or services in the local community including public transport, and recreational facilities or services
- carrying out any caring responsibilities you have for a child.
In England, you need to show that you're unable to achieve two of these outcomes.
What does it mean to be 'unable' to do something?
Being unable to do something doesn't necessarily mean that you can't do it at all. It can include when you are:
- unable to do something without assistance (including being prompted by someone else to do it)
- able to do something without assistance, but it causes you significant pain, distress or anxiety
- able to do something, but doing so would endanger you or people around you
- able to do something, but it takes you significantly longer than would normally be expected.
3. There is a significant impact on your wellbeing
The final stage of the eligibility criteria is that, as a result of not meeting the outcomes, there is, or is likely to be, a significant impact on your wellbeing.