Everyone’s needs and the ways they affect their well-being are different. Identifying your needs and the things you want to achieve will help the council to decide if they can help.
You can ask your Council for an initial assessment if you feel you need support to do normal day-to-day activities. This is your legal right.
The initial assessment will be a conversation with you and a social worker from the Council to understand what problems you are having. If it looks like you need a little extra help with things, they with then complete a fuller assessment with you and discuss in more detail:
• Your needs and how they affect your well-being – for instance, you might need help getting dressed or support to get to work.
• Things you want to do in your life – for example, to make new friends, or to stay clean and well-dressed.
• Any other relevant factors affecting your well-being.
You can, of course, ask a relative, friend or someone else you trust to be present with you. Both the initial assessment and the full assessment are free of charge.
Requesting an assessment
You can ask your Council yourself, or someone else who knows you can request an assessment for you – a friend, relative or professional who is already involved in your care, such as your GP. If someone else asks on your behalf, they should have discussed and agreed this with you in advance.
If you look after someone
If you care for someone, perhaps a relative or close friend, you can also ask for an initial assessment to see if you are eligible for help in your caring role, This is independent of whether the person you look after has also had an assessment.
How your Council decides if you are eligible for support
Not everyone who is assessed will then be eligible to receive support from the Council. Your Council uses national regulations to determine whether you are eligible. These regulations are set out in the Care Act 2014. If you’d like to find out more about the Care Act and how it says Councils should determine eligibility, We have further information on our Employment Support Service page. The GOV.UK also has information or you can ask the Council for more information – they can give this in written form for you to keep.
If you are not eligible for support from the Council
If the Council determines that you do not qualify for help from them, they will nonetheless offer you full information and advice about other ways of getting support, with contact details of other agencies or individuals who may be able to help you.
If you are eligible for support from the Council
Your Personal Budget and Support Plan
If you have been assessed as qualifying for help, your social worker will discuss with you how this help can best be given to you, so you have as much choice as you want over what happens.
As part of the process of the assessment, the amount of help that you have been identified as needing is converted into an hourly rate and then added up as one total figure – this is called your Personal Budget. Your personal budget is the total cost of the care you need and is available to you to spend on your care.
Note that even if you are eligible for support from the council, your financial situation will be assessed to determine if you should contribute to the cost of that support. This will be fully explained to you by your social worker.
Your social worker will talk through your support needs and preferences with you, and help you consider the options available to you, taking into account how much you have in your personal budget, helping you identify specific services that match your requirements, and then once they have talked these ideas with you, they will complete and agree with you a Support Plan.
The Support Plan will have full details of your conversation and describe:
• What your current situation is, including things you need help with
• What support you have agreed you will receive to meet your needs
• What you want to achieve whilst receiving support
• A breakdown of how your Personal Budget is being spent
If you also receive help from relatives, friends or from health professionals, or anyone else, this will be shown on the support plan.
it will also include details and tips on ways in which you can remain as independent, active and healthy as possible. Your social worker will talk with you about resources in your area you may not be aware of, and which you might be able to take advantage of – perhaps community events or activities, or services provided by charities.