Requesting a carer assessment
If you are a carer you may be entitled to support from your local council in your own right, even when the person whom you look after does not meet the council's criteria for receiving support.
If you appear to be in need of support as a result of your caring role then your council should offer you a carer's assessment. In Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, and Hammersmith & Fulham the council may carry out the assessment with you, or may arrange for a local organisation to carry out the assessment on their behalf.
The carer's assessment will look at whether you have any support needs in your own right because of your caring role, and how these needs effect your wellbeing.
Your local council has produced a simple leaflet (see page 2) explaining how they will decide whether you are eligible for support as a carer following an assessment.
We have also provided a bit more detail here about how decisions on eligibility are made:-
The criteria to be considered as part of the assessment
Following the assessment a carer will only be entitled to support if the following criteria have all been met:-
- The carer's need for support arises because they are providing necessary care and support for another adult
- The carer's own physical or mental health is deteriorating, or is at risk of deteriorating
The carer is unable to achieve one or more 'outcomes' in their own life because of the effects of their caring role.
(These 'outcomes' are the kinds of things which all of us might want to achieve in our lives, regardless of whether or not we are looking after another person. See below for more on what this means)
- As a result of number 2 above there is, or is likely to be, a significant effect on the carer's own 'well-being' - 'well-being' is a word which covers things like health and happiness.
A carer will only be entitled to support if they meet all three of these conditions.
Outcomes to be considered as part of the assessment
The person completing the assessment with the carer will need to consider whether the carer can achieve the following outcomes alongside carrying out their caring role:
- Carry out any additional caring responsibilities they have for a child, alongside their caring responsbilities for the adult.
The carer might, for example, be a grandparent with caring responsibilities for their grandchildren.
- Provide care to other people, as well as to the adult in question.
For example some people find themselves providing care to both an elderly parent, and to another relative with a disability or health problem.
- Maintain a habitable (safe and hygienic) home environment, which does not present a risk to the carer's wellbeing.
A habitable home should have essential amenities such as water, electricity and gas.
- Manage and maintain a healthy, nutritious diet.
The carer should have the time to do essential shopping and to prepare meals for themselves and their family
- Develop and maintain family or other significant personal relationships.
Is the carer in a position where their caring role prevents them from maintaining key relationships with family and friends, or from developing new relationships?
- Take part in work, training, education or volunteering.
Is the carer able to continue in their job, or take part in training course or education, or volunteer to help others, or have the opportunity to get a job, if they are not already in employment?
- Make use of necessary facilities or services in the local community.
Does the carer have opportunities to make use of the local community's services and, for example, have time to use recreational facilities such as gyms or swimming pools.
- Join in recreational activities.
Does the carer have leisure time? This might mean time to engage in an interest or hobby.
If the carer is unable to achieve any one of these outcomes then the council should then consider whether:
- The carer's needs and their inability to achieve the outcome(s) impact on an area of their wellbeing in a significant way
- The impact on a number of the areas of wellbeing combine to have a significant impact on an carer's overall wellbeing.
If one of these two statements is true, and if the carer has also met both the other criteria described near the top of the page, then the carer will be entitled to support from the council in carrying out the caring role.
Carers' assessments can be carried out in a number of different ways:
- Face to face (with a social worker or someone else employed by, or on behalf of, the council)
- A 'supported self-assessment' where the person completes the assessment themselves and the contents are then agreed / signed-off by the local council.
We will be providing more information on how carers can complete a self-assessment as soon as possible
- A telephone assessment
A telephone assessment may be most suitable for less complicated situations, or when a carer is having a review or reassessment of their situation
- A joint assessment
This is a combined assessment where the carer's assessment is completed at the same time as the assessment of the adult whom they look after, or at the same time as a social services assessment for a child.
A joint assessment avoids duplication, and can allow a more joined-up approach when arranging support. However, some carers prefer to complete their assessment separately, and are fully entitled to ask for a separate assessment if they wish.
Even if you have not completed a carers' assessment, or are not eligible for support from your council following a carers' assessment, there is a wide range of support available.
To find out what support you might be able to receive go to our separate page on Support For Carers.
Or you can go straight to one of the following pages for a handy summary of support options in your local area:-
- from your local council
You can contact your local council to request a carer's assessment as follows:-
- from Carers Network
Carers Network is the main organisation in Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, and Hammersmith & Fulham providing support and information for unpaid adult carers looking after someone over 18. They can also undertake the same carers assessments as those by your local council.
You can find their details, and what support and activities they provide on these pages:-