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Disability and the Law: Adults

A number of United Kingdom Acts are listed in this section for information. These Acts relate to disability, equality, carers and information. We have taken great care that the information in this section is accurate and up to date. But we would advise that before using the sections of the act you are interested in to check they are still in force and up to date.

You can do this by checking the following link here

You must also remember that case law can also have an effect on the acts or sections of the act.

The Care Act 2014

The Care Act 2014 came into effect in April 2015 and replaced most previous laws regarding those requiring care and their carer. It is regarded as one of the most significant reforms, with the aim of putting people and their carers in control of their care and support.

Among the most significant changes established due to this act were:

  • A new set of criteria as to when Local Authorities should be providing support
  • A change to the way in which local authorities complete assessments with those in need of support
  • New rights for carers which put them on the same footing as the people they care for
  • A greater emphasis on protecting the most vulnerable people in society from abuse and neglect>/li>
  • A greater emphasis on prevention - local authorities and other providers of support will encourage and assist people to lead healthy lives which will reduce the chances of them needing increased support in the future
  • A greater emphasis on local authorities to provide clear information and advice to help people make informed choices on their support arrangements
  • A greater emphasis on existing Personal Budgets
  • A greater emphasis on those most in need being given access to an advocate when they are dealing with social care professionals>/li>
  • Greater regulation for those who provide professional care and support, and tougher penalties for those who do not provide care and support of a high enough standard
  • Changes to when and how people will be asked to contribute towards the cost of support which has been arranged in conjunction with their local authority - most of these changes will not come into effect until 2020

The Care Act is mainly for adults in need of care and support, and their adult carers. There are some provisions for the transition of children in need of care and support, parent carers of children in need of care and support, and young carers. However the main provisions for these groups (before transition) are in the Children and Families Act 2014.

Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970

This act places a duty upon local authorities to investigate the level of need for services for people with disability who live in their area. This includes the assessment and provision of practical assistance in the home, help with adaptations to property, leisure, and assistance with meals and a telephone.

The apparent meaning of this act has been modified by decisions of the courts. Reference should therefore also be made to the relevant case law summaries.

Disability Discrimination Act 1995

The Disability Discrimination Act is a piece of legislation that promotes civil rights for disabled people and protects disabled people from discrimination.

From 1 October 2010, the majority of the Equality Act 2010 will be implemented and will replace major parts of the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act.

Equality Act 2010

This is intended to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all; to update, simplify and strengthen the previous legislation; and to deliver a simple, modern and accessible framework of discrimination law which protects individuals from unfair treatment and promotes a fair and more equal society.

The provisions in the Equality Act will come into force at different times to allow time for the people and organisations affected by the new laws to prepare for them. The Government is currently considering how the different provisions will be commenced so that the Act is implemented in an effective and proportionate way. In the meantime, the Government Equalities Office continues to work on the basis of the previously announced timetable, which envisaged commencement of the Act's core provisions in October 2010.