Eligibility criteria for statutory support - carers
What does eligibility mean?
Eligibility determines whether you can get funded support from your local authority because of your personal needs as a carer. The eligibility criteria is set by the Government and is called the National Eligibility Framework. This has been put in place to make sure everyone is treated in a consistent way across the country.
The Care Act 2014 has introduced new national eligibility criteria for carers and this has been in place since April 2015. All carers who support someone over the age of 18 are entitled to a carers assessment of their needs. (If you're a young or parent carer find out how you can access support here.)
If the assessment identifies that a carer has needs that meet the eligibility threshold, the local authority has a duty to ensure that support is put in place. In Derbyshire, Derbyshire County Council have commissioned Derbyshire Carers Association to carry out carers assessments and meet this statutory duty on their behalf.
Eligibility for support is based on identifying and meeting three criteria:
- Do your needs arise because you are providing necessary care and support?
- Are your physical or mental health or some other aspect of your life affected or at risk of deteriorating? Or are you unable to achieve any of the listed outcomes because of your caring responsibilities?
- Is there consequently a significant impact on your wellbeing?
Any carers assessment will consider the impact your role caring (for an adult) has on the following outcomes:
- carrying out any caring responsibilities you have for a child
- providing care to other persons for whom you provide care (if you care for more than one person - i.e. a dual caring role)
- maintaining a habitable home environment in your home
- managing and maintaining your nutrition
- developing and maintaining family or other personal relationships
- engaging in work, training, education or volunteering
- making use of necessary facilities or services in the local community; including recreational facilities or services
- engaging in recreational activities.
Carers can be eligible for support whether or not the adult for whom they care has eligible needs.
There is further information on the Derbyshire County Council website about the eligibility criteria for adults with care and support needs, i.e the cared-for person.
Do I have to pay for services provided to me as a carer?
Like most local authorities, Derbyshire County Council chooses not to charge carers for services, including services which give them a break from caring. They recognise that charging carers for services is not in the interest of carers, the cared-for person or the local authority.
If a service is provided to the cared-for person, in order to benefit the carer, the carer cannot be charged for this. However, the cared-for person may be charged, as it will be a service provided to them.
For example, if the cared-for person spends some time in residential care, in order to give the carer a break, it would be a service provided to the cared-for person, and therefore the cared-for person may be charged.
The cared-for person would be charged in-line with Derbyshire County Council's paying for care policies - however, if they weren't already receiving services from the local authority they would first need an assessment of their care and support needs to see if they were eligible for support.
If the person you care for isn't eligible for support, you may be able to have a carer personal budget (subject to eligibility) to buy services to give you a break from your caring role.
Other helpful websites
- Gov.uk - Care and Support Statutory Guidance
- Legislation.gov.uk - Care and Support eligibility legislation