Carers can be eligible for support in their own right.
The Care Act introduces a national eligibility threshold for carers. Their eligibility does not depend on whether the person they care for has eligible needs.
Under this, the council must consider whether:
- The carer’s needs are due to providing necessary care for an adult
- Those needs put the carer’s health at risk or means that they are unable to achieve specified outcomes and
- As a consequence there is, or is likely to be a significant impact on their wellbeing.
A carer’s needs are only eligible where they meet all three of these conditions.
The first condition looks at any needs that arise as a consequence of providing necessary care to an adult.
If the carer is providing care and support for needs which the adult is capable of meeting themselves, the care may not be deemed necessary.
In such cases, the council should provide information and advice to the adult and carer about how the adult can use their own strengths or services in the community to meet their needs.
This condition is met if as a result of the needs, either the carer’s physical or mental health is, or is at risk of deteriorating, or 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
- Managing and maintain nutrition
- Developing and maintaining family or other significant personal relationships
- Accessing and 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.
The carer is unable to achieve an outcome if:
- They are unable to do so without assistance
- Doing so causes significant pain, distress or anxiety
- Doing so is likely to endanger the health or safety of the carer or any adults or children for whom the carer provides care.
This conditions looks at the impact that being unable to achieve any of the outcomes has on your wellbeing. Wellbeing covers different areas such as:
- Personal dignity (including treatment of the individual with respect);
- Physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing
- Protection from abuse and neglect
- Control by the individual over day-to-day life (including over care and support provided and the way it is provided)
- Participation in work, education, training or recreation;
- Social and economic wellbeing
- Domestic, family and personal relationships
- Suitability of living accommodation
- The individual’s contribution to society.
The council must consider whether the carer's needs impact on the nine areas of wellbeing and make a judgment whether:
- The carer's needs impact on an area of wellbeing in a significant way
- The cumulative effect of the impact on several areas of wellbeing mean that they have a significant effect on the carer's overall wellbeing.
The council should consider the impact of the carer's needs in the context of what is important to him or her. What is important to one person may not be the same for another.