The Care Act tells local councils across England what they need to do if someone needs social care support.

It also tells councils what they have to do if they know someone is caring for a family member or friends and needs support as a carer.

7 key things about The Care Act

  1. Local authorities must always put people's wellbeing at the heart of its decision making.
  2. Local authorities have new duties to provide information and advice; for example about how the system works, how to manage the financial aspects of meeting care needs, and especially how to help prevent, delay or reduce the need for care and support - to keep people as healthy and independent as possible.
  3. Carers now have similar rights to services to the people they care for, including the right to an assessment.
  4. There are new national eligibility criteria to decide who is eligible for care and support from the local authority.
  5. More people will have the right to an advocate if they find it difficult to communicate or to understand something.
  6. There are new rules to make it easier for people to keep getting care and support if they move house to a different local authority area.
  7. If you get social care support, you will now have a right to request a personal budget if you're not offered one.

Want to know more?

Read the Department of Health's factsheets on the Care Act.

Read the Department of Health's easy read guide on the Care Act.

3 rights every carer should know about

If you care for a disabled adult, you'll be glad to know that the Care Act strengthens your rights. Here are 3 keys rights you should know about:

  1. A carer will be entitled to an assessment if it appears that a carer needs support. The carer's assessment must establish whether the carer is willing and able to continue providing care to the person they are caring for, what impact this has on the carer's wellbeing, what outcomes the carer wishes in day-to-day life, and whether the carer wishes to access education, training or recreational activities.
  2. The carer will have the same rights to an assessment and support as the disabled adult themselves. Therefore, once a carer's assessment has been carried out, the local authority will see which of the carer's needs are eligible for support, and will then produce a support plan to meet the carer's needs.
  3. Local authorities are under a duty to meet a carer's eligible needs, subject to financial assessment.

    Support for carers

    Useful resources

    We've created the following factsheets to help you with the benefits application, Care Act assessment and follow-up process:

    • Delays in receiving benefits (PDF, 52 KB) - this factsheet explains the options that may be available to you whilst you're waiting for your first payment.
    • Mandatory reconsiderations (PDF, 48 KB)  - this factsheet explains what to do if you wish to challenge a benefit decision.
    • Reasonable adjustments (PDF, 425 KB) - this factsheet explains what changes should be made by the Job Centre and DWP for people with a learning disability who are looking to claim benefits.
    • What happens next (PDF, 367 KB) - this factsheet sets out what should happen after your Care Act assessment.
    • Reviews and new assessments (PDF, 219 KB) - this factsheet is for people who already receive care and support through a package of social care and what they can expect from the review and assessment process.
    • Direct payments (PDF, 72 KB) - this factsheet explains how people with a learning disability and their families can receive direct payments to arrange their social care support themselves.

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