What happens during an adult social care needs assessment

To make the most of the care needs assessment, you may want to prepare by thinking about the areas you will be asked about.

When you have a care needs assessment, either over the telephone or face to face, the assessor will want to explore or find out:

  • all the difficulties you are facing and ways you currently manage these challenges
  • what you hope to continue to do, or what you would like to be able to achieve
  • the things you are getting help with and who helps you.

This might seem like a lot, but it is important to think about every aspect of your life to make sure you get the right level of support. If you don’t tell us about the difficulties you have, you may not be given the right advice, information or support. We also need to plan ahead for if your care and support network was no longer able to continue the level of support they currently give you.

Areas of your life to be assessed

The areas you and the assessor will explore are all as important as one another. You may decide some of these areas are more relevant than others and that some do not apply to you, you do not have to go into detail if the topic is not relevant to you. You will talk about:

  • your day to day activities - managing nutrition, shopping, laundry, cleaning
  • your personal care - personal hygiene, toilet needs, being appropriately clothed
  • your mobility - getting out and about, falls, transfers
  • your home and living situation - being able to make use of your home safely, being able to maintain a habitable home environment
  • your physical health and wellbeing
  • your relationships and social activities
  • involvement in work, education or training
  • your emotional wellbeing and mental health
  • making use of necessary facilities or services in the local community including public transport and recreational facilities or services
  • carrying out any caring responsibilities you have for a child
  • your safety and risk issues
  • the current support you receive - from friends and family as well as social care or healthcare services.

To request an assessment you need to fill in a referral form, or be referred by a professional.

Carers and combined assessments

If someone is giving you support and they appear to have a need for support themselves, they are entitled to their own assessment. This could be your partner, a family member or friend who helps you manage daily activities, or helps you budget.

They can either request their own carer’s assessment or they can be assessed at the same time as you if you both agree to this. This is called a combined assessment. The assessor looks at your needs and the needs of the person giving you help. For either a combined assessment or a carers assessment, talk to your assessor.

After the assessment

At the end of the assessment, we decide if you are eligible for our support based on an eligibility criteria set out in social care legislation (The Care Act 2014), which includes:

  • your needs must relate to a physical or mental impairment or illness
  • as a result of your needs you are unable to achieve 2 or more specified outcomes which cover:
    • basic living skills
    • making sure you are safe and can live well in your own home
    • being able to use your local community
    • being able to work or volunteer
  • as a consequence of being unable to achieve 2 of these outcomes there is likely to be a significant impact on your wellbeing.

You can read more about The Care Act 2014.

If you have eligible needs

If you do have eligible needs, we will discuss what is important to you and how you would like your needs met. This could include:

  • getting support from a voluntary organisation
  • help with making sure you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to
  • a piece of equipment to make you feel safe
  • a sum of money for you to access a universal service in the community
  • getting support at home from a care agency.

Care and support plan

We will work with you to develop a care and support plan and assess how much you need to pay towards your care and support.

Your care and support plan will set out how your eligible needs will be met. We will support you to organise the right balance of care and support services to achieve the goals in your plan. You can put the plan together on your own, with the help of your family and friends or with our help.

Financial assessment

Once we have agreed your care and support, we will assess how much you need to pay towards it. If you need services you have to pay for, we'll do a financial assessment.

A financial assessment looks at your capital (such as savings and investments) and your weekly income (which includes most pensions and benefits) to see how much you will need to pay towards the cost of your support. We use guidelines set by the government to decide this.

There are many ways to pay for care and support and we'll talk to you about your options after the financial assessment. Read more about paying for care and financial assessments.

If you do not have any eligible needs

If we can't help you because your care needs assessment shows you're not eligible for our support, we will always give you:

  • information and advice on what can be done to meet or reduce the needs, for example, what support might be available in the community
  • information about what preventative measures you can take to prevent or delay the development of needs in the future.

You can also look at the Connect to Support website or Ask Sara website to look for care services and equipment.