Your guide to care and support

Carers' assessments: what happens next

After a carer's assessment, your council will contact you about its decision.

If you have "eligible" needs, your council will talk to you about what help might be available. This will be based on the information you gave them during your assessment.

If you do not have needs that are eligible for support, your council will give you information and advice about what alternative support is available to help you locally. This could include help from a local voluntary organisation, for example.

Eligibility for support

From April 2015, local authorities have a legal duty to meet a carer’s eligible needs for support.

When a carer's assessment is complete, the local authority must decide whether the carer’s needs are eligible for support from the local authority. This eligibility depends on your situation. You'll be entitled to support if:

  • you are assessed as having needs that meet the eligibility criteria
  • the person you care for lives in the local authority area (which means their established home is in that area)

Support planning

After your carer’s assessment, you should receive a written care plan identifying your needs and any information, support or services that could be provided, such as breaks from caring.

Social services should liaise with other authorities (such as housing or a health organisation), if that is relevant for you.

Your care and support plan should include details of what should happen if your situation gets worse. However, if your situation does change, you should contact social services and ask them to reassess you.

Personal budgets and direct payments

As part of your support plan, you'll receive a personal budget. This is a statement showing the cost of meeting your needs. You can choose to take this personal budget in the form of direct payments.

Charging and financial assessment

In most cases, local authorities do not charge for providing support to carers because of the valuable contribution that carers make. However, this is something that the local authority can decide. If the local authority does decide to charge a carer for providing them with support, it must carry out a financial assessment to decide whether the carer can afford to pay. If you are a carer, you will only be charged for services provided to you, not for services that are for the person you are looking after.

If supporting a carer involves providing care to the person being cared for, and the local authority chooses to charge for that type of care, then the authority must carry out a financial assessment of the person who is being cared for. This is because the care would be provided directly to that adult, and not to the carer.

Read more about paying for services.

Page last reviewed: 15/01/2015

Next review due: 15/01/2017


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Carers emergency scheme

Gordon Conochie from the Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Care explains the carers emergency scheme, which gives peace of mind to carers. David, who cares for his partner Martin, carries a carers emergency card. It identifies him as a carer, and who he cares for, in case of an emergency. Please note that since this video was published the above organisations have become Carers Trust and Gordon Conochie is no longer working for the organisation.

Media last reviewed: 17/04/2014

Next review due: 17/04/2016