Eligibility for adult care

It is the intention of Norfolk County Council to provide all transition age young people who have additional needs, whether they have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan or not, with the advice and support they need in their preparation for adult life. 

Some of you will find all the information you need to help you plan for your transition to adult life in the Local Offer section called Preparing for Adulthood or through reading The essential guide to preparing for adult life

However, you may need extra help from social services or health services if you have a learning disability, a diagnosis of autism, a physical disability, mental ill health, require sensory support, are in or have been in care or if you are a young carer.

Some of you may already be receiving help from Children’s Services of the Health Service, and if you are not, you may be thinking about asking for help.  The help available can range from being shown where to find the information you need to a social worker or a health professional (if you need specialist health support).

Social care covers a wide range of support which can be provided by:

  • Local councils
  • Voluntary organisations
  • Private companies
  • Friends and relatives

All sorts of people use social care including those with a sensory impairment (such as blindness or deafness), a physical or learning disability, a terminal illness, mental health problems, difficulties associated with getting older or people with alcohol or drug problems.

Examples of support are:

  • Help in your home such as getting out of bed or washing
  • New skills or technology to keep you independent
  • Help with shopping
  • Residential and nursing care
  • Day opportunities
  • Equipment and adaptations to your home
  • Help with meals
  • Personal assistants
  • Support for carers

There are four adult social care teams:

  • Learning Disability Service – there are five teams’ countywide supporting people with an intellectual impairment.
  • Community Teams – there are five teams’ countywide supporting people with physical disabilities/sensory impairments.
  • Asperger Service – there is one Norwich based team supporting people presenting with high functioning autism.
  • Mental Health Social Work Service – there are five teams across the county who work alongside Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust community mental health teams.

If you feel that you have higher support needs, you may be offered an assessment by Norfolk County Council or the NHS. 

An assessment will look in detail at what your needs are and then decide if you are eligible for help.  This is done by using some rules and regulations which are called ‘eligibility criteria’.

There is different eligibility criteria for Children’s Services, Adult Service and the Health Service (for specialist therapy services and Continuing Healthcare for example).

For adult social care, your assessor will need to follow the eligibility criteria found in the Care Act 2014.  In deciding whether or not you are eligible for adult social care, your assessor will look to see if you have a substantial risk to your wellbeing in certain areas of your life, such as needing support with:

  • Personal care
  • Help with activities and daily living/domestic tasks
  • Maintaining your home
  • Support with transport
  • Keeping safe
Even if you do not meet the eligibility criteria for adult social care, and so are unable to be funded, the local authority must still provide information and advice about where other support may be available. This is called ‘signposting’ and may lead you to what is known as the voluntary sector.  Section 5 of the Transition Providers Directory includes some of the voluntary sector organisations.

The Care Act 2014 recognises that for some young people under 18, an early referral to Adult Services for an assessment of needs may be required.  The law says that this must happen if it would be of “significant benefit” to the young person. These assessments are called ‘Young Person’s Needs Assessment’ (also called a transition assessment).

There is no set age when a young person can have a ‘Young Person’s Needs Assessment’, instead the decision is based on what is considered to be the right time for the young person so as to be of significant benefit to them.

The Care Act 2014 also supports the view that young people moving from children’s social care to adult social care services should never lose support during this move.  The Act says that a young person should continue to receive Children’s Services even after they are 18 until Adult Services are put in place to ensure that there is no gap.

If you are assessed as needing a service from Adult Social Services, you will be offered a meeting with the Joint Visiting Team.

The Joint Visiting Team will be able to help you with:

  • Completing a financial declaration form
  • Check that you are receiving all the state benefits you are entitled to and help you claim these where necessary
  • Explain the charging policy of Adult Services and answer any questions you might have.