Are you eligible for support from your local authority?

Eligibility criteria for care services

Your local authority will assess your needs to find out the best way support can be provided.  They will also assess your finances to see whether you need to make a contribution towards the cost of any services you receive.

Under the Care Act 2014 local authorities have a duty to assess anyone who appears to need care and support. 
The Care Act does not place a duty on the local authority to provide services.  Whether services are provided to you depends on whether you meet the ‘national minimum threshold for eligibility’. 

National minimum threshold for eligibility

The ‘national minimum threshold for eligibility’ has been set to ensure that all local authorities meet the same minimum level of needs. They must provide for your needs if you meet all of the following three conditions:

  1. Your needs arise from, or are related to, a physical or mental impairment or illness.
  2. Because of your physical or mental impairment or illness you are unable to achieve two or more of the specified outcomes:
  • managing and maintaining your nutrition

  • maintaining your personal hygiene

  • managing your toilet needs

  • being appropriately clothed

  • being able to make use of your home safely

  • maintaining 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, including public transport and recreational facilities or services

  • carrying out any caring responsibilities the adult has for a child

      3. As a consequence of being unable to achieve two or more of these outcomes there is, or there is likely to be, a significant impact on your wellbeing.


The local authority will consider you unable to achieve an outcome if you:

  • are unable to achieve it without assistance

  • are able to achieve it without assistance but doing so causes you significant pain, distress or anxiety

  • are able to achieve it without assistance but doing so endangers or is likely to endanger the health or safety of you, or of others

  • are able to achieve it without assistance but take significantly longer than would normally be expected.

If you ask your local authority to assess your needs they will use these criteria to help them decide whether you are eligible for support. If you meet the criteria they will then work with you to design an Individual Care Plan to meet your needs.

The Individual Care Plan should make provision for the situation now and for reviewing the assessment regularly. Home care services may be provided by the local authority or increasingly by local care agencies and support services who have a contract with the local authority.  For further information and assessment contact your local Adult Social Care office on:

Bournemouth: Care Direct 01202 454979 – Bournemouth Adult Social Care.  

Out of Hours: 01202 657279

Further details about planning your care and support, comprehensive explanation about eligibility criteria and the options available to you, are available on the Help & Care factsheet “Planning your care and support” contact 0300 111 3303 to ask for a copy or visit our website and download a copy.

Are you caring for someone who needs your help?

The Care Act 2014 also supersedes The Carers Recognition & Services Act 1995 & 2000.  A ‘Carers Assessment’ is available to anyone who regularly provides care and should be taken into account when the person you care for has their needs assessed. You can ask for an assessment if you intend to care for someone in the near future, for example when someone leaves hospital or is planning to come and live with you.  Young carers can also ask for an assessment.

Further details about Carers Assessments are available on the Help & Care factsheet “Carers Rights and Assessments”. Download a copy from this website or contact Help & Care on 0300 111 3303 to ask for a copy to be mailed to you.


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