Carer consultation

Carer eligibility regulations

Needs which meet the eligibility criteria: carers.

(1) A carer’s needs meet the eligibility criteria if—

  • the needs arise as a consequence of providing necessary care for an adult;
  • the effect of the carer’s needs is that any of the circumstances specified in paragraph  (2) apply to the carer; and
  • as a consequence of that fact there is, or is likely to be, a significant impact on the carer’s well-being.

2. The circumstances specified in this paragraph are as follows—

  • the carer’s physical or mental health is, or is at risk of, deteriorating;
  • the carer is unable to achieve any of the following outcomes—
    • carrying out any caring responsibilities the carer has for a child;
    • providing care to other persons for whom the carer provides care;
    • maintaining a habitable home environment in the carer’s home (whether or not this is also the home of the adult needing care);
    • managing and maintaining 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; and
    • engaging in recreational activities.

(3) For the purposes of paragraph (2) a carer is to be regarded as being unable to achieve an outcome if the carer—

  • is unable to achieve it without assistance;
  • is able to achieve it without assistance but doing so causes the carer significant pain, distress or anxiety; or
  • is able to achieve it without assistance but doing so endangers or is likely to endanger the health or safety of the carer, or of others.

(4) Where the level of a carer’s needs fluctuates, in determining whether the carer’s needs meet the eligibility criteria, the local authority must take into account the carer’s circumstances over such period as it considers necessary to establish accurately the carer’s level of need.

Case Study 1: Deirdre (Not Eligible)
Deirdre is 58 and has been caring for her neighbour for the past six years. Deirdre has been coping with her caring responsibilities, which include checking in on her neighbour, doing her shopping and cleaning and helping her with the cooking every other day. Deirdre works 20 hours a week at the local school, and she is also helping her daughter by picking up her grandchild after school. Deirdre’s son is concerned that she is taking on too much and notices that she is tired. Deirdre’s son persuades her to ask the local authority for a carer’s assessment.
Caring responsibilitiesOutcomesImpact on wellbeingDecision: Not Eligible
Neighbour with COPD.

Deirdre enjoys the variety that her working life and caring role provide. She would like to

be able to spend more time with her grandchild in the afternoons, but recognises that there is a balance between doing this and caring for her neighbour. Deirdre’s needs impact on the following outcomes:

  • Carrying out caring responsibilities the carer has for a child.
  • Engaging in recreational activities.

Deirdre’s needs

are impacting on

a few outcomes. Deirdre enjoys her caring responsibility for her grandchild and would like more free time.

On the other hand, her caring roles are fulfilling so although Deirdre is tired at the end of the day, her local authority does not think her wellbeing is significantly affected.

The local authority decides that Deirdre is not eligible because her wellbeing is not significantly affected.

Next actions:

The local authority recognises that Deirdre could do with some advice to help her manage her day so that she can find some time for herself and so she does not get tired. They advise on how she may reduce some of her tasks such as sitting down with her neighbour to order their food shopping online rather than carrying them home. They make contact with a local carers’ organisation and the local authority makes sure Deirdre is able to access it. The organisation is able to provide additional advice.


Case study 2: Sam (Eligible)
Sam is 38 and cares for his mother who has early-stage dementia. Sam’s mother has telecare, but he still checks in on her daily, and does her shopping, cooking and laundry. Sam is a divorced father of two children, who live with him every other week. Sam works fulltime in an IT company and has come forward for an assessment as he is starting to feel unable to cope with his various responsibilities in the weeks when he looks after his children. Sam has made an arrangement with his employer that he can work longer hours on the weeks when the children are with their mother and fewer when he has the children.
Caring responsibilitiesOutcomesImpact on wellbeingDecision: Eligible
Mother with early stage dementia.

Sam wants to spend more time with his children and for instance

be able to free

up an hour in the afternoon to help them with their homework, so it doesn’t have to be done in the evening when the children are tired. Sam’s needs impact

on the following Outcomes:

  • Carrying out caring responsibilities the carer has for a child.
  • Engaging in recreational activities.

Sam’s responsibilities impact on a

few important outcomes. Sam

is starting to feel like he is failing

as a parent and

it affects the relationship he has with his children, his ex-wife, and his mother. He also worries that his ability to stay in work would be in jeopardy unless he receives support. Sam seems quite stressed and anxious.

The local authority decides that Sam’s fluctuating needs are eligible for support, because it perceives that they have a significant impact on his wellbeing. If the local authority supports Sam to maintain his current role, everyone is better off, because Sam can stay in employment, sustain his family relationships and provide security for his mother.

Next actions:

The local authority gives Sam a direct payment which he uses to pay for a care worker to come in for three days every other week to check on his mother and make her a meal. This gives Sam more time to spend with his children, doing homework with them and spending some more relaxed time with them.

The local authority directs Sam to a carers’ organisation which provides Sam with information about his rights at work and how to speak to his employers.

NOTE – our understanding of the Statutory Guidance is that this would be on Sam’s Support Plan but his mother would have to agree, and would be responsible for any payment required under the Authority’s Charging Policy.