Who is eligible for services under the CARE Act?

An estimated 8,000 to 12,000 Californians are estimated to meet CARE Act criteria. To qualify, a person must meet all of seven eligibility criteria:

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• Be 18 years old or older;
• Have a diagnosis of schizophrenia spectrum or other psychotic disorder;
• Be currently experiencing a mental illness that is severe in degree and persistent in duration, which may cause behavioral functioning which interferes substantially with the primary activities of daily living, and which may result in an inability to maintain stable adjustment and independent functioning without treatment, support, and rehabilitation for a long or indefinite period of time;
• Not currently clinically stabilized in an on-going voluntary treatment program;
• Meet one of the following:

  • The person is unlikely to survive safely in the community without supervision and the person’s condition is substantially deteriorating.
  • The person is in need of services and supports in order to prevent a relapse or deterioration that would likely result in grave disability or serious harm to the person or others, as defined in Section 5150.

• CARE would be the least restrictive alternative to ensure the person’s recovery and stability
• Be likely to benefit from participation in CARE

For tools, resources, and information for judicial officers, court staff and justice system partners, visit the Adult Civil Mental Health page; or see the self-help guide.