If you've contacted us for the first time, because you need some help to live independently, or you're concerned about a person you care for we'll ask you some questions to find out more about your situation. You might be older, have a disability, a mental health problem, a sensory loss, an illness or a condition such as Autism.
When you get in touch with us we'll offer you information and advice, and for those in the most need of support we can arrange to carry out an assessment.
Anyone can request an assessment for themselves, or someone they know who is having difficulties.
Having an assessment
An assessment is a discussion with you to find out more about the kind of things that you need some support with. It usually takes place at your home and you can have a family member, friend or advocate with you, especially if they are helping to care for you.
At your assessment we'll ask you questions about how you can do things such as:
- getting out of bed
- getting washed and dressed
- going to the toilet
- making and eating meals
- moving around your home safely
- keeping your home clean and safe
- using local services like buses and going to the shops
- getting enough contact with other people
We'll also find out what support you have in place already, if any.
We use national rules about care and support at your assessment to work out if you qualify for some help from us to arrange your care.
After your assessment we'll write to you to tell you about the decision we've made and the reasons why.
You can watch our short film about having an assessment here.
We use national guidance/rules from the Department of Health about care and support at your assessment to work out if you qualify for some help from us to arrange your care. We take into consideration the three criteria for eligibility as below:
- if you have a disability, health need or impairment
- if as a result of a disability, health need or impairment you are unable to manage some important aspects of your life without support
- if this is having a significant impact on your wellbeing - physically, mentally, emotionally or socially
If you're not eligible for support, we'll tell you why and give you information about other organisations that can support you.
We base the decision on your needs and what you're unable to achieve as a result of your needs, for example, making sure you're safe and can live well at home or basic living skills. We'll also look at the impact of these on your wellbeing.
If you are entitled to help
If you're entitled to some care and support services at home, we'll work out how much this will cost. There is a charge for adult social care and most people will have to pay something towards the cost of their services. We'll do a financial assessment of your circumstances to calculate how much you can afford to pay towards the cost of your care. You can find out more about what we need to look at in our information about having a financial assessment or you can use our online contributions calculator to work out how much you may need to pay.
Based on your financial circumstances you may need to pay all, some or nothing towards the cost of your care. When we've worked this out, we'll tell you how much money is available to cover the cost of your care. This is amount is called your 'personal budget' and it's made up of what your contribution and ours towards your care.
If you are going to be having longer-term care in a care home, we'll work out how much you need to contribute and will help you to find a home that is suitable for your needs. You can read more about care homes here.
If you're not entitled to help
If you don't qualify for help from us because your needs don't meet the national criteria for care, we'll still give you information and advice. We can also put you in touch with services in the community that may be able to help you. Some of these services are provided free of charge, and some you'll need to pay for. You can find out what kind of support is available for you to arrange yourself by visiting our online adult health and care directory.
Help for carers
We provide advice and support for people who are caring for a family member or friend. If you're caring for someone because they can't manage without some support, please read more about having a carer's assessment of your needs here.
Out of hours service
If you need help urgently and our office is closed, contact our out of hours service on 0844 984 1800.
This service operates between 5pm and 8.45 Monday to Friday and 24 hours on weekends and bank holidays. It's for emergency referrals for adult or children's social care that can't wait until the office is open.