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Eligibility Criteria (previously known as FACS)

Are you eligible for a service?

This page explains how your eligibility is decided and what happens after that.


Government requirements mean that since April 2003, clients who ask for support from Cornwall Adult Care, Health and Wellbeing have been assessed using a framework called Eligibility Criteria, previously known as FACS. This applies both to new clients, and to existing clients when they are reassessed. Services for children are not affected by the Eligibility Criteria.

The Eligibility Criteria identifies the risks which threaten a person's ability to manage in the community. There are four bands, described as "Risks to Independence":

  • Critical
  • Substantial
  • Moderate
  • Low

These are determined through an interview with you in your home.

Cornwall Adult Care, Health and Wellbeing will undertake an assessment based on your presenting needs at the referral stage of the assessment. The assessment will identify if you have any needs that ACHW can provide services for. The assessing worker will identify the level of need using the eligibility criteria guidance. If needs are identified, the department will provide or commission services for people assessed in the critical and substantial bands of risk, but not for those in the moderate and low bands.

Not everyone will have needs in every area of the assessment, some people may have needs which could be eligible for services but are met in another way, for example, carers. These are called 'met' needs. If the assessment concludes that you are not eligible for services, Adult Care, Health and Wellbeing will endeavour to signpost you to other services. 

The Eligibility Criteria is determined by Cornwall Council and may change - and will be updated on this website.

You and your assessor would establish which of these difficulties you faced and look at them in detail:

  • Autonomy and freedom to make choices 
    For example, how far are you able to exert choice and control over your immediate environment?
  • Health and safety including freedom from harm, abuse and neglect, and taking wider issues of housing and community safety into account
    For example, are you in a life-threatening situation, or are you at risk of serious abuse, neglect, health or housing difficulties?
  • The ability to manage personal and other daily routines
    For example, how far are you able to carry out personal care and domestic routines?
  • Involvement in family and wider community life, including leisure, hobbies, paid and unpaid work, learning and volunteering
    For example, are you able to work or take up education, or are you isolated from places or people that are important to you?
  • Your carer's circumstances                                                                                                      For example, how far is your carer affected physically or mentally by his/her caring role?

Although each of these is assigned a risk banding, it is the highest of them which would determine your level. A more critical banding should reflect the presence of a greater variety or intensity of risk and need.

A carer is someone who provides substantial or regular care or support to another person. The help that your carer is able to give you may impact on them and their circumstances. This should be included in your assessment and in determining the Fair Access to Care banding. Carers are entitled to their own separate assessment; and the law states that it must be offered to them.

This Carers Assessment, as it is called, would help your assessor to understand your needs and then "band" them more precisely. The carers assessment should follow from, or be part of an assessment of needs.

The options would be considered and if services proved necessary, Adult Care, Health and Wellbeing would seek best value in managing the risks we identified as critical or substantial. These are called eligible needs.

If you are in the critical or substantial band of risk then the National Health Service may be responsible for your care or have a responsibility to contribute to your care. This would be determined through a separate assessment.

When Risks To Independence are assessed as below the threshold for receiving a service, our primary functions are preventative measures or signposting of assistance:

Adult Care, Health and Wellbeing can help in the following ways:

  • Equipment to enable you to remain independent at home.
  • Short term services to make you more independent and to prevent things from getting worse.
  • Referrals to, or making recommendation for, provision by other agencies, such as the NHS.  Or Occupational Therapy recommendations for adaptations to the appropriate housing or other bodies.
  • Setting up services, or recommending continuation of services which you are prepared to pay for your self. For example you may wish to continue at your local day centre at your own expense.  Or we might be able to get a better quote from a domestic care agency than you can as an individual, for services we cannot provide ourselves.
  • Short term services to keep you out of, or get you home from Hospital.
  • Help and advice.
  • A prompt response when you contact us.

 Adult Care, Health and Wellbeing will not provide:

  • On-going Community Care Services; either our own or commissioned from Community Care Agencies or Care Homes.
  • Residential Care
  • Monitoring or review visits by assessing staff (unless your needs change).

Ask your assessor to explain again, in a different way if necessary so that you are clear why they have come to their conclusion. You might prefer them to call again at another time when you have someone at hand to help and support you.

If you are still not satisfied you can ask them to re-consider their decision, and following that to ask for a second opinion.

If you are still dissatisfied after the second opinion, especially if it's about the way the assessment was conducted, then you have a right to complain.

You can find out how to complain to Adult Care, Health and Wellbeing in our leaflet Have your say! Your assessor may have given you a copy or you can ask for one at your local  Adult Care, Health and Wellbeing office or One Stop Shop.

Adult social care

0300 1234 131