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If you receive support from adult social care, by law, we can charge for this service. For more information please see the social care charges.

Eligibility criteria

We have to make sure that we help those people with the greatest need for care and support. To do this we will assess your needs, how these impact on your wellbeing and what you’d like to achieve in your day-to-day life. We use eligibility criteria, which are like a set of rules to help us decide if you are able to get support from us.

There are three questions we will consider:

  1. Are your needs related to a physical or mental impairment or illness?
  2. Because of your needs, are you unable to do two or more of the things listed below?
  3. If so, is there or is there likely to be a significant impact on your wellbeing?

We might think the impact on your wellbeing is significant if it will have an important or a major effect on your daily life and independence.

If the answer to all three questions is yes, you will have eligible needs for care and support.

This is the list of the things that we will look at in question two:

  • eat properly and maintain proper nutrition
  • maintain personal hygiene
  • manage toilet needs
  • dress appropriately
  • able to use and move about the home safely
  • maintain a habitable home environment
  • maintain and develop relationships with family and friends
  • take part in any work, education, training or volunteering they may wish to
  • make use of necessary resources and facilities in the community, including public transport, recreational facilities or services
  • look after any children they have responsibilities for

You are assessed as being unable to do these things if you:

  • need help to do them
  • can do them without help but it causes you significant pain, distress or anxiety
  • can do them without help but it could or does put yours or another person’s health and safety at risk
  • can do them without help but it takes you a lot longer than others.

When we consider the impact on your wellbeing (question three), we look at areas such as:

  • personal dignity
  • control over your day to day life
  • taking part in education
  • work or social activities
  • relationships with other people
  • having suitable accommodation
  • protection from abuse and neglect.

If your needs change or vary from time to time because of your health or situation, we will consider this when making decisions about whether you are eligible for support.

If you have eligible needs, we will work with you to plan your care and support. If you do not have needs that are eligible, we will give you information and advice about what care and support are available to help you. For example, this could be from local charities or voluntary organisations.


We must understand whether you are able to take part in your assessment or whether there is significant difficulty in any of the following areas:

  • understanding the information provided
  • retaining the information
  • using or weighing up the information as part of the process of being involved
  • communicating views, wishes or feelings.

Find out more about how we assess and review your needs.

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