Wednesday 11th December 2019
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Are you eligible for care and support?

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Before we can offer you council-funded care services, we have to see if you are eligible to receive them. On this page you can find out how we work this out.

 

What is ‘care and support’?

‘Care and support’ is the term used to describe the help some adults need when they are unable to perform their day-to-day tasks because of a physical disability, a learning disability, a long-term health condition, frailty due to old age, mental ill-health, substance abuse, or if they care for an adult friend or family member and this is impacting upon their own wellbeing.
 
In April 2015 care and support changed for the better. The Government’s Care Act introduced a new national set of rules, so that all councils across England use the same criteria for deciding who is, and who isn’t, eligible to receive care and support.
‘Care and support’ can include help for a person to remain independent in their own home – to prevent any problems from arising in the future, or to delay deterioration for the future.
 
‘Care and support’ can include help for a person to regain independence after an illness or stay in hospital. When this is not possible, it can involve moving that person into a residential or nursing care home.
 
'Care and support' can be given by family and friends, by us, or by other organisations.

How do I qualify for council-funded care and support?

Anyone in Luton who feels they need care and support can ask us for an assessment of care needs, or if they are a carer, for a carer’s assessment. This is so we can help identify these needs and how they can be met.
Your care and support needs will either be:
  • eligible needs or
  • non-eligible needs
If your needs are eligible, we will be able to offer council-funded care and support to you.
If your needs are non-eligible we will still be able to help you by offering information and advice.
 
Under the Care Act, decisions that we make about the help you will receive will consider your wellbeing and what is important to you and your family.

Whether your needs are eligible, or non-eligible, we will be able to put you in touch with the right organisations to support your wellbeing and to help you to remain independent for longer.

How do you work out if my needs are eligible?

Under the Care Act all councils across England will follow a new set of rules to work out if someone’s needs are eligible, or non-eligible. We call these the ‘eligibility criteria’.

What are the eligibility criteria?

A person’s needs meet the eligibility criteria if:
  • they arise from, or are related to, a physical or mental impairment or illness
  • as a result of the these needs, the person is unable to do two or more of the day-to-day activities specified below and...
  • as a consequence there is, or is likely to be, a significant impact on the person’s wellbeing
The Care Act says that these day-to-day activities are:
  • managing and maintaining nutrition
  • maintaining personal hygiene
  • managing toilet needs
  • being appropriately clothed
  • being able to make use of the adult’s 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

Will my needs stop being eligible if I move to another area?

Under the Care Act, every council in England must use the same set of criteria to determine eligibility. This means that if you already receive care and support, you can have peace of mind that you will still keep the same levels of care and support if you move to another area.

Although your level of need will remain the same, the actual care and support services you receive may differ, due to local availability. For example, one council may provide a ‘buddy’ service to stop people from feeling lonely, whilst another may introduce people to community events in their area.

If, however, your care needs change (for example, if you become unable to do some of the day-to-day activities which you used to be able to do) then your eligibility may change. If this is the case, you should contact us, so we can look at your eligibility again.

If I am eligible, does this mean I will get free care?

No. Unlike healthcare, social care is not free. The amount a person would be expected to contribute to their care costs is based upon their individual financial circumstances, which we would need to look at. In general, the less money and assets you have, the less you would be expected to contribute. Some people might not have to contribute anything.

Who will provide my care and support?

Your assessment of care needs will be carried out by the council and if you are eligible, you could receive support from us. We will work with you to develop your personal care and support plan, which is based on your specific circumstances and needs. Your plan may include any informal help you receive and support provided by other organisations, including the NHS.
 
The Luton Directory includes a list of the different services available from the council and other local organisations. You can also find out more about local NHS services through the NHS Choices website.

If you are not eligible for council-funded care we will still provide you with information on support and services in your local area and will put you in touch with other appropriate organisations.

What happens if I am not eligible, but I still need help?

Even if you are not eligible for council-funded care services, we can still help you by providing information and advice on:
  • types of care and support, and the choice of providers available in the community for you, or your carer
  • how to access the care and support that is available
  • planning for your future care and support needs
  • how to access independent financial advice on matters relevant to the meeting of your care needs
We will make sure that the information we give you will be tailored for your individual
circumstances to:
  • reflect your needs
  • help prevent future needs
  • help delay any deterioration
Care and support is definitely not ‘one-size fits all!
 
Follow this link to find a list of some local organisations that may be able to help you even if you are not eligible for care from us.
 

 Contact information

 
Customer Services Centre
Luton Borough Council, Town Hall, George Street, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 2BQ
Tel: 01582 547659 or 547660
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