If you’re looking after a family member, friend or neighbour, then you’re legally entitled to request a free Carer’s assessment from your local authority. All Carers irrespective of age can request a Carers assessment.
What is a Carers assessment?
A Carers assessment is simply a conversation, or a series of conversations, about what you do and how it affects you physically and emotionally.
The assessment is not a test of your caring abilities, it is a conversation with a trained representative to understand how caring affects your day-to-day life and work out whether you qualify for help.
They should cover:
- your role as a Carer
- how you feel about caring
- whether you’re able or willing to carry on as a carer
- your health
- your work
- other caring responsibilities
- what you enjoy doing in your free time
- planning for emergencies.
It might take place over the telephone, or face to face; if you have a preference then please tell them. You can ask to have someone with you such as the person you care for, a friend or relative.
Am I eligible for a Carers assessment?
If you provide regular unpaid care for someone, you’re entitled to a Carer’s assessment.
You can have an assessment regardless of your financial situation, how much care you provide and regardless of whether the person you are looking is getting help from the local authority.
You do not have to live with the person you are looking after, nor do you have to be related to them. If you share caring responsibilities with somebody else, then you can both have an assessment.
How do I request a Carers assessment?
If you would like an assessment, you should get in touch with the Adult Social Care department at your local authority. If you live in a different area to the person you support, you will need to contact their local authority rather than your own.
Telephone: 01702 215008 (option 5)
Monday to Friday 08:45 to 17:00hrs
Telephone: 01375 511 000
Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.
If you are worried about doing this yourself, contact your local carer organisation such as Action for Family Carers or Essex Carers Support for support.
What happens after the assessment?
Your local council will work out whether you are eligible for support. If so, they will create a support plan for you, outlining your support needs and how those needs can be met. They might provide you with support directly, or provide it to the person you care for. The information will be kept on file by the local authority and will not be shared unless you give permission for this to happen. You should be provided with a copy of the support plan.
If you’re not eligible for support, they must still give you information and advice on where you can go for help.
Your assessment should be updated on an annual basis or if your caring role changes.
What support could I get?
There are lots of different types of support you could be entitled to, including:
- practical help with housework or gardening
- breaks from caring, such as respite care for the person you care for
- training to help you with your caring role, for example in moving and handling the person you care for
- equipment or alterations to your home
- advice about benefits
- support to improve your wellbeing, such as a gym membership.
Will I have to pay?
Councils are advised not to charge Carers for support provided to them, but some will give you a financial assessment to work out what you can afford to pay.
How do I prepare for a Carers assessment?
Read Mobilises Top Tips to preparing for a Carers Assessment