"I’m not eligible for social care support now."

A lot of changes are happening in social care at the moment because of changes in the law and in Government policy. For example, from April 2015 there are major changes to the rules on assessing what needs are eligible for support, due to the Care Act 2014 coming into force. Local authorities are reassessing people under the new eligibility criteria.

Local authorities are also bringing in other policy changes as well as those contained in the Care Act. It's important that local authorities consult those affected by proposed changes. You may want to check Did they consult properly?

Local authorities should take into account the needs of each individual and not have ‘blanket policies’.  So, for example, they should not tell you:
  • “We don’t provide help with shopping or cleaning any more.”
  • “We don’t provide support workers to help people use public transport any more.”
  • “We don’t provide 24-hour care at home. We can refer you for a continuing healthcare assessment by the health service. But if they say no then the most we will provide is a personal budget capped at the cost of a basic care home placement.”
The local authority has a duty to assess your individual needs and work out how to meet them. If they assess you properly, it may be lawful to decide not to provide these types of support in your particular circumstances. It should not be because they have decided never to provide some types of support to anyone.
 
If your support package changes as a result of the new national eligibility criteria or another change of policy, then you must be reassessed to determine whether you meet the new criteria. This must happen before there are any changes to your support package.  
 
Read more information about assessments.
 
If you haven’t been reassessed or consulted properly about the changes, see how to complain.
 
If this doesn’t get the result you want, you can complain to the Ombudsman or get legal advice about possible court action – see what next?

How to make a complaint about a reduction to your support package due to a change to the eligibility criteria or another policy 

Your assessed needs must be met and your support package cannot be stopped unless you have been reassessed. You can ask your local authority for a new assessment.
 
It's unlawful for you to be refused support on the basis of a blanket policy. Your local authority has a duty to meet your individual needs. Local authorities have a duty to consult properly before changing any specific local policy. If there has been a change to the support you receive as a result of such a change, find out more about how a local authority must carry out a consultation. If the policy cannot be changed, you can highlight the serious consequences it will have for you and ask for more support. Your local authority has a duty to consider meeting your needs that don’t come within the eligibility criteria if meeting them would prevent you getting into crisis.