Adult Services

Who can get help from Adult Services?

Everyone is entitled to an assessment of their needs to see if the County Council can help. There are many vulnerable and frail people in Hampshire that need extra support to help them to continue to live independently. Hampshire County Council provides community care support to meet eligible needs as determined following a community care assessment. The cost of providing community care means that we can only afford to give help to the people that need it the most.

Examples of community care support include:

  • Self-directed support through a Personal Budget which may include a Direct Payment, and/or help arranged by a care manager
  • special equipment and home adaptations to support physical or sensory needs
  • support for carers eg respite services in or out of the home
  • residential care if staying at home is not safe even with support.

The Eligibility Criteria

The Department of Health has issued Guidance on eligibility criteria for adult social care, England 2010 to help Local Authorities, like Hampshire County Council, decide who their ‘most needy’ members of the community are by setting out ‘Eligibility Criteria’. The 'Eligibility Criteria' provides a scale by which we can assess an individual's care requirements - Low - Moderate - Substantial - Critical

In Hampshire, we can only offer community care support to meet needs we decide are 'critical' or 'substantial'. The difference between 'critical' or 'substantial' is in most cases decided by the seriousness of the difficulty.

Definitions of the eligibility criteria scale

'Critical' needs

'Substantial' needs

The following types of need will be assessed as 'critical' and therefore eligible for support:

  • You are unable to protect yourself or others from serious harm due to a physical, mental health, sensory or learning difficulty
  • Provision of Community Care support would help to improve your health or prevent it becoming worse
  • You have severe difficulties in managing in your home safely, e.g. using the toilet, getting out of bed or into a chair, getting in and out of your home or letting visitors in safely
  • You are being abused or are at severe risk of e.g. violence, degrading treatment or financial exploitation
  • You have severe difficulties in managing your personal care e.g. washing and dressing, on a daily basis
  • You are unable to access work or education which is essential for your needs without support
  • You are reliant on a carer who is no longer able to support all of your needs or your existing social and community support is at high risk of breaking down
  • Your difficulties mean that you are unable to carry on caring for a child, or they may be harmed by taking on inappropriate responsibilities for you.

The following types of need will be assessed as ‘substantial’ and therefore eligible for support:

  • You need help or equipment to support you with e.g. toileting, transfers and safety in your home to continue to maintain your independence, due to physical or sensory difficulties
  • You have a mental health difficulty which means that you or others are at risk
  • There is a concern that you may have been or are at risk of abuse. Abuse will always be treated seriously and we will always look into the circumstances fully to ensure you are safe from harm
  • You need help with several aspects of your personal care to maintain your independence
  • You need help to access work, education or training due to a physical, mental health or learning difficulty
  • You are reliant on a carer who needs support to enable them to continue to help you or you need help to maintain your current social and community support networks
  • You need help to continue in a parenting role.

If any of your needs are identified as being 'critical' or 'substantial' you will qualify for help from Adult Services. We cannot provide help for needs which are not 'critical' or 'substantial' but will give you advice and information about ways you can manage your needs or get help for them elsewhere.

The Department of Health has produced a guide explaining in more detail your choices about care and support paid for by Adult Services

The assessment process

To assess your needs and decide whether we can help you, the following process will take place.

  1. Initial assessment

    This will be carried out to judge how urgent your need for a full assessment is and to get an early idea of the level of your need. If you will benefit from a short period of support to help you to regain your your independence, we will provide this before assessing your longer term needs.

  2. Full assessment

    An Adult Services members of staff will have a detailed discussion with you, and anyone else you'd like at your assessment, about your needs. When this has been completed, we will be able to make a further decision against our Eligibility Criteria and tell you which of your support needs we are able to support you with.

  3. Care planning

    After we have worked out what help you need, we will agree a care plan with you for your eligible needs and suggest ways your other needs can be met.

  4. Review

    We will regularly review the services you are getting from us to ensure that your needs are being met and the care you are receiving is appropriate. We will also review your needs to decide whether they still meet our Eligibility Criteria. However, if we propose any changes to your care package, we will carry out a full re-assessment and will explain the process to you.

Assessment options

If you have any questions about our process or you would like an assessment to see if you are eligible for help, choose an assessment option and contact us.

Benefits and allowances

There are a range of benefits that you may be eligible to receive and more information on these can be found under the Benefits and welfare advice section on the financial help pages

Directgov provides a free web-based benefits advisor calculator to help you find out which benefits and tax credits you, your family (or anyone you act on behalf of) may be entitled to, and eligibility to the State Pension.


Equality: Whenever you have dealings with Adult Services, you will be treated equally, regardless of your gender, disability, age, ethnic or national origin, religious creed, marital status or sexuality.

Complaints: If you are not happy with any aspect of the services you have received from us or with the way you've been treated, speak first to the person you have been dealing with or their manager.

If things can't be resolved this way please see our Customer care and complaints page, which tells you what to do if you want to make a complaint.