Free Care Needs Assessment

What can I expect free from the local authority?

If you are currently having to pay for your own care or arrange the care for a loved one are you sure that you have exhausted all of the free services available to support you?

First make sure you have contacted the social services department of your local authority to find out whether you’re eligible for funding.

If you have savings and assets of more than the amount in this table, you’ll have to pay for your own care:

RegionSavings threshold for local authority funding in 2019/20
Wales£24,000 (care at home) or £50,000 (care in a care home)
Northern Ireland£23,250

Get a care needs assessment from your local council

If your income and savings are above this limit it’s still worth contacting the local authority as there is a statutory obligation for your local authority to provide a care needs assessment, no matter what the financial position is.

Care needs assessments are usually provided by the social services department of your local council. The council has a statutory right to provide an assessment if there is an appearance of need care and support.

The aim is to work out what help is needed with care, and to help whomever is arranging care to show how it might be achieved.

The assessment provides the opportunity to discuss what if/any support you need with professionals. The applicant will be involved throughout the assessment, being given the opportunity to identify any difficulties involved in the care of yourself or a loved one. There are obviously a range of options which can include living independently at home, giving support to such activities as washing and getting dressed.

Ask for a carers assessment

The care needs assessment is not only the free assessment available in this process. If there is a friend or family member involved as an unpaid carer, they can get a carer’s assessment to see if they need support to carry on their caring role.

The council will give you a copy of your care needs assessment, explaining what your care needs are. If you’re not given this, ask. You’ll also be told whether or not your needs are high enough for you to qualify for help from the council.

There are no set timescales for carrying out an assessment but it should happen within a reasonable time and take into account the urgency of the situation. 

The council should tell you when they think your assessment will take place and keep you informed throughout the process. If your needs change from day to day or week to week, the council must look at them over time.

You can request a care needs assessment from social services at or by phoning your local council.

Get in touch!

Finally, to find out how Encompass living can help you simplify care options for you or a loved one please get in touch at We would love to hear from you.

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