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Assessments for carers

If you provide a regular and substantial amount of care for someone aged 18 or over, you can ask the social services department in your local council for a carer's assessment.

Preparing for a carer's assessment

There is no definition of 'regular and substantial care'. A carer's assessment means social services will look at your situation and see if you are entitled to any services that could make caring easier for you.

The assessment is an opportunity for you to tell the social worker what impact caring has on you. So it may be a good idea to make a list, or keep a diary, of everything you do to look after the person you care for.

Some things you may want to think about are:

  • do you get enough sleep?
  • is your health affected by caring?
  • can you leave the person you are looking after?
  • are you worried about having to give up work?
  • do you get enough time to yourself?

You might also include how caring affects you because of your:

  • health
  • age
  • work or studies
  • other activities or commitments

The assessment can be carried out at your home or at the home of the person you are caring for. The assessment is about you, and the person you care for does not need to be present.

You can ask a friend or relative to be with you during the assessment, if you want to.

If there is more than one carer providing regular care in your household, you are both entitled to an assessment.

Services that may be available

Services that may help you and the person you care for include:

  • a break from caring
  • help with housework
  • changes to equipment or adaptations to the home
  • emotional support

This assessment is about your needs as a carer. The needs of the person you are caring for should be discussed in their own needs assessment.

If your situation changes, for example you need more support, you can ask for a re-assessment.

Your care plan

Social services will develop a 'care plan' based on your care assessment and the community care assessment of the person you care for.

This plan should include the support and services to you have been assessed as needing.

Paying for services

After the assessment your local council will look at your income and capital (savings and property) to decide which care services - if any - you may be charged for.

Your right to an assessment, and to the services and support you may receive, is not linked to your income or capital.

Apply for a carer's assessment

The following service will let you enter details of where you live and then take you to your local council website where you can apply for a carer's assessment or find out more.

Please note that this service is only available for councils in England.

If you are unhappy with your assessment

The social services department at your local council will have a complaints system in place. If you are not happy with how the assessment was carried out, or you do not think you are getting the support and services you need, you should contact them.

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