Your right to have an assessment of your needs
You have the right to a free assessment, regardless of your ability to pay for the care or services you need.
You may want to request an assessment due to:
- frailty because of old age
- short-term illness or injury
- permanent, substantial physical or learning disabilities.
Conditions not covered by the needs assessment
The needs assessment does not cover some conditions, but you can find help and advice elsewhere.
- Sight and hearing difficulties
- Mental health problems
- Problems related to the misuse of drugs and alcohol
Caring for someone
If you care for someone - you are entitled to a carer's assessment.
Why you may want to get an assessment from us
The free needs assessment will help you identify your needs and how best they can be met.
If you think you may be entitled to financial support, you can have a needs assessment and a financial assessment. We will calculate how much you can afford to pay towards the cost of your care.
Even if you are not eligible for services from us, we can tell you about organisations that can help you.
Why you may not want to get an assessment from us
If you know you will not get financial support from us, the assessment may waste your time.
There is a very long waiting list for an assessment from us. It could be up to six months. However, you can get an assessment privately without the wait. My Care My Home is our preferred support, care and advice provider. They can carry out your care needs and capacity assessments.
You can contact care providers privately to organise the care services you want to pay for.
Paying for care
Following a financial assessment, we will give you a clear idea of what you can be expected to pay and how the charges are calculated.
Read our guide to paying for your care.
Request an assessment
You can request an assessment for yourself, or someone else can request one for you.
You may be referred by:
- a social worker
- health professional such as a doctor or health visitor
- any other agency.
What happens at the needs assessment?
The assessment will involve talking to you, your partner, relatives or friends to find out exactly what care you need. We may talk to you over the telephone or face-to-face.
We'll build up a picture of you and different aspects of your life, which may include:
- your physical health
- your emotional health
- how you manage to look after yourself
- your current family and support networks.
Having your say
The assessment should take your personal wishes into account in deciding what sort of care, advice or information you need. We will discuss with you:
- the type of help needed
- when it is needed
- who will be providing the assistance
- how long they will be with you
- your religious and cultural needs
- when the service will be reviewed.
We need to enable you to be fully involved in the key decisions that shape your life and to make sure that you can get the information and advice you need about care and support.
One of the ways we can do this is by making independent advocates available to you from the moment you contact us if you are eligible. Find out more about independent advocates.
What happens after the assessment
We use national eligibility criteria set by the Department of Health to:
- review your care and support needs
- decide if you are eligible for support from us.
If you need services you have to pay for, we'll also do a financial assessment.
Eligible for care and support
To be eligible, you must meet all of the following criteria.
You have care and support needs due to a physical or mental condition or illness.
Because of those needs, you cannot achieve two or more of the outcomes below.
- Manage and maintain nutrition.
- Maintain personal hygiene.
- Manage toilet needs.
- Be appropriately clothed.
- Be able to make use of your home safely.
- Maintain a habitable home environment.
- Develop and maintain family or other personal relationships.
- Access and engage in work, training, education or volunteering.
- Use necessary facilities or services in the local community, including public transport and recreational facilities or services.
- Carry out any caring responsibilities you have for a child.
As a result, there is a significant impact on your wellbeing.
Your support plan
If you have eligible needs, we will draw up a support plan with you. This will look at what you want to achieve and outline how you want your needs to be met. We may need to talk to other health or social care professionals to ensure you get the right help. We'll ask your permission before we talk to them.
Support plans are reviewed regularly.
Direct payments are cash payments we can give you instead of giving you a service. You spend the money on the care you want. This gives you choice and control over how your eligible needs are met.
If you are not eligible for support
If we can't help you because your assessment shows you're not eligible, we'll tell you about organisations that can help you.