Issue details

Adult Social Care Eligibility Criteria

It is proposed that from 1 April 2015 Kent County Council replaces the current “moderate” eligibility criteria for adult social care with the new national minimum eligibility criteria for both adults who need care and support and carers (pursuant to Sections 13 and 18 of the Care Act 2014 and The Care and Support (Eligibility Criteria) Regulations 2014). 


The decision will support the Council’s objectives to support the transformation of health and social care in Kent and to maintain/improve services for the most vulnerable people in Kent.

Financial Implications: It is not expected that the eligibility criteria changes on their own will have significant financial implications as it is the Council’s view that the new national minimum eligibility criteria is on a par with the current “moderate” eligibility criteria that Kent operates to.  Wider aspects of the Care Act will have significant financial implications.

Legal Implications: In order to have an independent legal opinion on how Kent’s current eligibility compares to the new national minimum and also on the requirement for consultation, external legal advice has been sought and has been separately provided. 

Equality Implications: In order to compare the criteria against actual cases, an exercise was carried out by operational staff, who assessed current ‘moderate’ cases against the new national minimum.  The results and further information of this exercise are contained in the Equality Impact Assessment, which is presented as appendix 3 of the supporting paperwork, attached.

Reasons for decision, including alternatives considered and any additional information:-


One of the major planks of the Care Act is the introduction from April 2015 of a new national minimum eligibility criteria for adults with care and support needs which all councils must adhere to (section 13 of the Act).  The detail of the new criteria is contained in The Care and Support (Eligibility Criteria) Regulations 2014. 


In summary an individual with care and support needs will meet the minimum eligibility if they meet all three of the following conditions:


(a)  their needs arise from or are related to a physical or mental impairment or illness  AND

(b)  as a result they are unable to achieve two or more specified outcomes  AND

(c)   as a consequence there is, or is likely to be, a significant impact on their wellbeing, as defined under section 1 of the Care Act.


It is considered that the new criteria create a threshold that is lower than the current substantial level, and is more in line with the moderate level which applies in Kent.  It is therefore recommended that the council adopts the new national minimum eligibility criteria as the Kent eligibility criteria for care and support from April 2015.  As the new minimum is thought to be as generous as the current “moderate” level applicable in Kent, it is not thought necessary to widen eligibility beyond the national minimum in order to maintain the current level of eligibility.  It is recommended that all current service users (including thoseassessed as ‘Moderate’) will continue to be eligible after April 2015. They will not be reassessed against the new criteria until their planned review or if their needs change.


In addition, local authorities must apply the national minimum eligibility criteria for carers.



Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Affects more than two Electoral Divisions;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: (All Division);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 28/11/2014

Decision due: Not before 10th Dec 2014 by Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health
Reason: in order that the proposed decision can be published for a minimum of 28 days, in accordance with statutory requirements

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health

Contact: Christine Grosskopf, Policy Manager 01622 696611; 01622 696116 Email:, Michael Thomas-Sam, Strategic Business Adviser, Social Care Email: Tel: 03000 417238.


The Adult Social Care and Health Cabinet Committee discussed the issue on 2 May 2014, 11 July 2014 and 26 September 2014. 


Cabinet endorsed the proposed policy change at its meeting on 1 December 2014.


The Adult Social Care and Public Health Cabinet Committeeon 4 December 2014 resolved that the decision proposed to be taken by the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, that the County Council adopt the national minimum eligibility criteria for determining which adults with care and support needs meet Kent’s eligibility criteria, from 1 April 2015, after taking into account the comments made by this Committee, be endorsed


The comments made by the committee on 4 December are set out in the accompanying report from the Director of Social Care, Health and Wellbeing.

Other consultation planned or undertaken:

For the reasons given above, public consultation is not believed to be warranted.


Financial implications: Michael Thomas-Sam, Strategic Business Advisor 01622 696116 Christine Grosskopf, Care Act Programme Strategic Policy Lead 01622 696611

Legal implications: 14/00134


Agenda items