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The person you care for has a right to a community care assessment from their local social services department. This is to see whether they have a need for services which the local authority should meet.
If you’re looking after someone on a ‘regular and substantial’ basis you also have a right to a carer’s assessment. This can be an opportunity to discuss with social services any help you need with caring, as well as what help you might need to keep yourself healthy, and to balance caring with your life, work and family commitments. You may want to talk about:
During a carer’s assessment, social services will discuss your concerns about your paid work. You should mention any problems you have in balancing your work and the care that you give.
Support from social services can be very helpful. For example, you could ask for a paid care worker to visit the person you care for at different times of the day, or days of the week, to fit in with a flexible working arrangement| you may have.
Your local authority will have set criteria for who they provide social services to. If your needs, and those of the person you care for, meet these criteria they must provide the services.
You can learn more about the services your local authority provides by contacting them and asking for their Better Care, Higher Standards| charter.
Social services will also carry out a financial assessment to decide whether or not you would need to contribute to the cost of the service. As a carer you should be assessed on your own resources and earnings, not those of the person you care for.
If you’ve been assessed as having a need for social services, you may be entitled to get direct payments from your local authority. This means that you’re given payments to organise care services yourself, rather than the local social services organising and paying for them for you.
You can get information about direct payments from the Directgov website| (in the Disabled people| section), or from your local authority. If you live in Northern Ireland, visit nidirect.gov| (see the Caring for someone| section).
Help from social services for the person you’re caring for can include:
Carers’ services can be anything that will help you in your caring role or maintain your own health and well-being while caring. This can include:
Content last reviewed: 1 May 2011
Next planned review: 2013
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