Being eligible for social care services

After an assessment Social Services must make a decision about your unmet needs. ‘Unmet’ needs are needs that no one is helping you with. They do this through eligibility criteria.

What are eligibility criteria?

There are minimum levels of unmet need for being eligible. If your unmet need is at that minimum level, you are eligible. You are eligible if:

  • you are an adult, and
  • your need comes from being physically or mentally ill or impaired, and
  • because of this, you cannot do 2 or more of the outcomes specified in the eligibility test, and
  • because of this, there is, or is likely to be, a significant impact on your well-being.

‘Specified outcomes’ means you can:

  • manage and maintain nutrition, or
  • maintain personal hygiene, or
  • manage toilet needs, or
  • dress yourself appropriately, or
  • use your own home safely, or
  • maintain a habitable home environment, or
  • develop and maintain family or other personal relationships, or
  • access and engaging in work, training, education or volunteering, or
  • make use of necessary facilities or services in the local community including public transport, and recreational facilities or services, or
  • carry out any caring responsibilities you have for a child.

Age UK – eligibility and assessments

NHS – assessing your care and support needs

Sense – eligibility

Skills for Care – eligibility handout

What happens if I am not eligible?

You have a statutory right to get up-to-date information and advice from Brent Council, about services you can pay for to help with unmet needs. Sometimes the information and advice is not very good. Choose Finding Services below to make a start for yourself.

You can complain about the assessment if:

  • you believe you are eligible, or
  • the assessment was not done properly, or
  • you believe there has been discrimination.

Choose making a complaint below for help with this.


Choose 1 of the 7 options below

Option 1 Social Care Assessments

Option 2 Care and support plans

Option 3 Paying for social care

Option 4 Personal budgets and direct payments

Option 5 Re-ablement services

Option 6 If you are a carer

Option 7 Making a complaint

Option 8 Finding Services

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