Many people, either through disability or after an accident or illness, find they need a little help regaining abilities or maintaining independence.

We want to support people to live as independently as possible with dignity and respect. We will help people to help themselves to take increasing responsibility for staying as active and as well as they can, for as long as possible. We do this by ensuring easy access to a wide range of preventative and universal services and community resources.

If you need longer-term support, we will carry out a social care needs assessment, looking at all relevant aspects of your life. All financial help is based on a means-tested assessment. You can start this process by completing our online self-assessment form to find out if you will need to pay for your care.

How we find out if you are eligible to receive social care support from us

First of all, we carry out an assessment with you to find out what your needs are. After the assessment, we will determine whether you are eligible for local authority funded care and support to meet your assessed needs.

From 1 April 2015, the Care Act brings in a new national minimum threshold for eligibility, and this threshold will be the same across England.

A person will have eligible needs if they meet all of the following:

  • They have care and support needs as a result of a physical or mental impairment or illness; and
  • Because of those needs, they cannot achieve two or more of the outcomes specified in the regulations; and
  • As a result, there is, or there is likely to be, a significant impact on their wellbeing.

When we carry out the assessment, we will talk with you about your needs, about what is important to you, and if your wellbeing is affected by an inability to meet certain outcomes.

The outcomes include day-to-day activities like getting dressed, going to work or eating meals. The areas of wellbeing that we consider include control by the individual over day-to-day life, personal dignity and domestic, family and personal relationships.

After we have carried out the assessment with you, we will decide if your needs are at the level where you need help from us. We will tell you about our decision and give you reasons to explain what we have decided.

If you have eligible needs, and want the local authority's help to meet them, then we will discuss your care and support plan with you. Your support plan identifies the outcomes that you want to achieve, how you can achieve them, and what sort of support you might need.

We will also discuss whether you will need to pay towards the cost of support. This depends on your income and savings and is determined through a financial assessment.

Whether you are eligible or not, we will always give you advice and information about what support is available in the community to help you. This could be help from local charities or voluntary organisations for example. We may also be able to provide you with some telecare or other equipment to help you to stay independent.

If your needs change, you can always ask for a reassessment. Simply speak to your social care worker or contact us.