Although local authorities should already carry out appropriate and proportionate assessments of eligibility for care, there are differences between how each local authority does this.

The Care Act 2014 makes an eligible needs assessment for care part of legislation and specifies that it should cover the following:

  • The individual’s wishes, preferences and desired outcomes
  • Severity and overall extent of the person’s needs
  • The potential for needs to change - the new assessments should consider situations where conditions may improve or deteriorate

Following the assessment, a care and support plan will be developed. If the individual has needs which meet the eligibility criteria and their assets, including property, savings, stocks and shares, and earnings, are below £14,250 then financial assistance may be provided.

Adults’ needs will only be funded by the local authority when they meet the following criteria:

  • Their need is due to a physical or mental impairment or illness
  • The adult is unable to achieve two or more of the following outcomes:
    - normal activities of daily living
    - maintain family or other significant personal relationships
    - access and engage in work, training, education or volunteering
    - access facilities and services in the local community
    - carry out caring responsibilities
  • By being unable to achieve one of the outcomes listed above there is likely to be a significant impact on the adult’s wellbeing

The Care Act 2014 requires local authorities to provide Independent Advocacy services for those individuals who may have difficulty in participating in their own assessment and care and support planning.

You can challenge the local authority’s assessment decision through an appeal process if you are unhappy with the outcome.
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