Who's eligible for help?
Your needs assessment will look to see if you meet the national eligibility criteria for adult social care.
To be eligible, you must have a physical or mental condition that has a significant impact on your wellbeing. You must also be unable to achieve at least two of the following:
• manage and maintain nutrition
• maintain personal hygiene
• manage toilet needs
• be appropriately clothed
• remain safe in your home
• maintain a habitable home environment
• develop and maintain family or other personal relationships
• access and engage in work, training, education or volunteering
• making use of facilities or services in the local community, including public transport and recreational facilities or services
• carry out any caring responsibilities you may have for a child
Find out more about eligibility outcomes for adults with care and support needs under the Care Act 2014.
What if I'm not eligible for help?
If you're not eligible for care and support from us, we'll still give you information about other organisations that may be able to help you.
There are a range of services available which may be able to prevent or delay your need for on-going services. As part of the assessment we will consider if you might benefit from these, regardless of your eligibility.
What happens at an assessment?
When you contact us, we will need to carry out an initial assessment. These can take place in a variety of places, such as over the phone, in your home or in a place which is suitable for you.
If someone else has referred you, we will always contact you to make sure you have given your consent to go ahead with the assessment. Even if someone else has referred you, your assessment is about you as an individual. We'll listen to your views and wishes and these will be included in the assessment.
We will need to ask you a number of questions, therefore it's useful to have the following information available:
• name, date of birth and address of the person seeking care and support
• how the person manages with daily tasks
The first stage is usually a conversation with one our Adult Social Care Direct team members. They will talk to you about your needs and the things that are important to you and signpost you to activities, support or services that are available to help.
For many people this will provide them with the information and advice they need to resolve any issues they may have and achieve the things they want to.
If following the initial assessment the person seeking support could benefit from enablement, a referral will be made to our PRIME Enablement Service.
This service offers short term support to people to help to regain their confidence and independence, or to acquire new day-to-day skills for living.
If it becomes clear that you need a more complex assessment, then we will find a person with an appropriate level of knowledge and skills to work with you (such as a social worker).
We aim to complete the assessment of need within 28 days.
Watch a video about assessing your care needs in British Sign Language (BSL)
What if I disagree with the assessor's decision?
Ask our assessor to explain their decision again so you are clear about the reasons for it. You can ask them to call again when you have someone there to support you. If you're still not satisfied, you can ask us to reconsider our decision.
If you're still not satisfied with the outcome, you can make a complaint or ask for a second opinion.
Find out more or make a social care complaint.
Help and advice
You're also entitled to help from an independent advocate if you have difficulty participating in the assessment or other parts of the process and don't already have someone who can act as an advocate for you.
If we identify that this may be the case, we have a duty to arrange an independent advocate who can act on your behalf.
Find out more about advocacy service.
What happens after the assessment?
Our assessor will work with you to create a care and support plan, this will include all your needs and things you want to achieve (often called outcomes).
For each outcome, it will show the things you will arrange yourself and the things you'll ask someone to do for you. It will also list any money, services or equipment we have agreed to provide for you.
We will send you and the organisation or person helping you a copy (with your permission).
Will I have to pay for care?
If you qualify for support we will conduct a financial assessment to decide whether or not you have enough money to pay towards what you need. How much you pay depends on your income and outgoings.
We will also look at the amount of savings you have.
If you have more than £23,250 in savings and capital, you will have to pay the full cost of any support you require. You can still ask for an assessment of your care needs but you will not qualify for any funded support from us.
If your savings and capital drop below £23,250, then you would be expected to pay a contribution for your services. Contact us and we will review your assessment.
We can also assist you with your benefits. A member of our financial assessment and benefits team will visit you to talk about your options and help you claim any benefits you might be entitled to, such as attendance allowance or personal independence payments.
Find out more information about paying for care.
We will provide you with a personal budget and discuss with you how you can use this to meet your needs via a range of options, including direct payments.
This will help you to better understand the likely costs of your care and support and your contribution. This gives you choice and control over the support you get.
What if my needs change?
We will aim to undertake a proportionate review of your needs and how your care and support is working after about six weeks and then at least once every year.
You can also ask us for a review if your needs or circumstances change.
We are committed to Safeguarding and preventing the abuse of adults. If you think someone is being abused, it is important that you tell someone, call us on 0191 433 7033. If you are concerned that immediate action may be needed from the emergency services, please dial 999.
Find out more information about Safeguarding.