If you live in England or Wales
If you live in England or Wales your local council should offer you a carer’s assessment if you appear to need support. This should happen even if you don’t ask for one. However, if you think you should have had a carer’s assessment, but you haven’t been offered one, contact your local council to find out what support you qualify for.
You also no longer need to prove that you provide regular and substantial care. It doesn’t matter:
- what type of caring you do - for example, you may care for someone who needs emotional rather than practical support
- how much caring you do - you don’t need to prove you care for a certain number of hours
- what your income is, if you have savings or own your home
- if you live with the person you care for, or not
In England the right to a carer’s assessment is included in the The Care Act 2014 (England) and Children and Families Act 2014 (England). Find out more about carers’assessments in England on NHS Choices
In Wales carer’s assessments are included in the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014. You can also find out more about how care and support in Wales is changing on the Welsh Government website.
If you live in Scotland
If you live in Scotland, the laws covering carers’ assessments are different. You may be offered a carers’ assessment or an Adult Carer Support Plan. The best way to find out what happens in your local area is to get in touch with your local carers centre.
An Adult Carer Support Plan (ACSP) or carers’ assessment is available for any adult carer who is providing, or intends to provide unpaid care. It will be carried out by the local council or health board where the person who is being cared for lives. (This is because the council or health board will need information about the person you are caring for, such as the type or amount of care they need, in order to properly support you as a carer.)
You will usually have a face-to-face meeting with someone from your council or health board, although another organisation like your local carers’ centre may carry them out on the local council’s behalf. Your local carers’ centre will be able to tell you how things work where you live.
The Carers (Scotland) Act
In Scotland the right to an Adult Carer Support Plan is part of the Carers (Scotland) Act, which is due to be fully implemented in 2018. Until then, councils may still offer a carers’ assessment. Whichever kind of process is offered to you will ask similar questions about your caring role and what kind of support you may need. However, the changes to the process that the Act makes will make it easier for all carers, even those who have a relatively manageable caring role, to have an assessment. This is so that if the caring role does become more intensive in the future, the plan can be quickly revisited and more support can be put in place if you need it without having to start the assessment process from the beginning.
You can find out more about the Carers (Scotland) Act on policy and legislation in Scotland.
If you live in Northern Ireland
In Northern Ireland the laws covering carer's assessment are different from in England, Wales and Scotland. The key differences are that to have a carer's assessment:
- you need to provide regular and substantial care, and
- you need to ask your local council for an assessment.
There is no clear definition of exactly what regular and substantial care means but if you usually spend a lot of time caring for someone, or it has a big impact on your life, then you should ask for a carer’s assessment.
If you live in Northern Ireland find out more about Assessments for carers on nidirect.
Young carers and young adult carers
If you are under 18 you have a different carer’s assessment from the adult carer’s assessment, but it still looks at what can be done to make caring easier for you.
You can have a young carer’s transition assessment before your 18th birthday to help you find out what support you will be able to get. You should have this assessment when you are ready, for example when you are making decisions about your education or if something is making life difficult at home.
Young adult carers aged 18 or over can have an adult carer’s assessment.
Young carers and young adult carers in Wales
In Wales a young carer’s assessment is basically the same as an adult's but with a few extra parts added.
There is also no transition assessment in Wales although transition will be taken into account when carrying out a carer’s assessment for young adult carers.
Young carers and young adult carers in Scotland
Young carers in Scotland will get a Young Carers Statement. This is a statement prepared by the council that sets out your personal outcomes, needs, and any support that can be provided to meet those needs.
If you are a parent of a disabled child aged under 18 your needs will be assessed at the same time as your child. Your local council will look at your family as a whole but it is your chance to say what you need to make your caring role easier.
Next update due: June 2017