Getting a carer's assessment
Most carers will benefit if the person they look after gets some help and support. In some cases though it is the carer themselves who can benefit from a support service. The way to access this sort of help is through a carer's assessment.
Even if the person you care for refuses help and will not be assessed by a social worker, you can still have a carer's assessment in your own right.
What does the law say?
The law says that anyone who provides or intends to provide a substantial amount of care on a regular basis can have a carer’s assessment. No definition of ‘substantial’ is given. Most people contemplating seeking support are likely to eligible for an assessment.
It's not just the amount of time you spend caring. Caring for someone with mental ill health, for example, may require a lot of supervision without much hands on caring. What's important to consider is the impact it has on your life - such as your health, your work, your relationships with family and friends - and what caring prevents you from doing.
If you share caring responsibilities with another person, or more than one person, you can each have a carer’s assessment so long as you are each providing a substantial amount of care on a regular basis.
The assessment is not linked in anyway to Carer’s Allowance.
Who can get an assessment?
You can have a carer’s assessment if you:
- live with the person you are looking after
- live away from the person you are looking after
- care for someone full time
- care for someone as well as working full or part time.
What will be covered by an assessment?
A carer's assessment will look at your role as a carer: how being a carer affects you, how much caring you can realistically do while still allowing you to be involved in other activities outside caring, and any help you may need.
How do I get an assessment?
Carers’ assessments are the responsibility of the social services or social work department of the disabled person’s local council/trust. So, for example, if you do not live in the same local council/trust area as the disabled person, you will need to contact the disabled person's local council/trust to request your carer's assessment.
You can have a carer’s assessment even if the disabled person does not want to have a community care assessment to look at the help that they need.
You can ask for an assessment before you take up caring or at any point when you are already caring for someone. It is up to you to ask for a carer’s assessment, but all local councils/trusts must inform carers of their right to an assessment.
The best way to request a carer’s assessment is to write to or email the social services department responsible for the disabled person . You can also request a carer’s assessment by phone, but it is a good idea to follow up this request in writing.