What is a carers assessment?
A carers assessment looks at your physical and emotional needs as an unpaid carer who provides natural support to a cared for person and is an opportunity to find out about what support or services you may need to support you.
This includes providing advice and recommendations on benefits and finances, someone taking over so you can have a break, sourcing advice, guidance or training for example manual handling/ lifting training, exercise/ health and wellbeing classes etc., and putting you in touch with local support groups (source: NHS Carers Assessments).
It’s not a test and you will not be penalised for the care you provide. Carers assessments are free of charge and designed to support you and the cared for.
Who can have a carers assessment?
- If you are over 18 years old and look after another adult who is disabled, ill or elderly you are entitled to have a carers assessment.
- If you care for someone under the age of 18 you can be referred to Manchester City Council’s Early Help, Local Offer or Short Breaks Assessment team.
- It doesn’t matter how many hours you care for or the type of care you provide, your financial means or your level of need for support.
- You don’t have to live with the person you care for or be caring full time.
- If you work full or part-time. you are still entitled to have an assessment.
- If you and the person you are caring for agree, a combined assessment of both your needs can be undertaken at the same time, this can often jog your memory of all the roles and tasks that you undertake.
- If you are sharing caring responsibilities with another person, or more than one person, including a child under 18, you can each have an assessment, although for a child under 18 the assessment will be different. Visit the Young Carers section of the Manchester City Council website to find out more. (source: Carers UK).
Who carries them out?
To meet the criteria for an assessment, the cared for person needs to be Manchester resident, and most assessments will be carried out by Manchester City Council’s adult social services department.
If the cared for person is being supported by Greater Manchester Mental Health Services, the carers assessment would be carried out by Greater Manchester Mental Health.
The Carers Manchester Contact Point do not carry out assessments, but can provide advice and guidance, as well as providing you with other information and support around your caring role.
What happens during the assessment?
- A Social Care Assessor from the Council will ask how you’re coping with caring and how it affects your physical and mental health, work, free time and relationships.
- The worker will complete a strength-based assessment and look at what support you have in place.
- They can also refer you or the person you look after for equipment and assistive technology.
- If respite care/complete break from the caring role is required from the assessment, the Integrated Neighbourhood Teams will be engaged to compete an assessment on the cared for person in order to source suitable funding.
- If the cared for person has children who are providing some form of support, a referral can be made to Young Carers services for an assessment within their own right.
- The worker will inform the carer based on the information provided if they have met the criteria for a Carers One-off payment, then complete the support plan to agree what the budget will be used to support you as a carer.
- It’s not a test to see how well you can care, it is there to help you get the support you need. You’ll be able to ask questions too.
- The assessment is usually done face to face in a private space and will last around an hour. The person you care for doesn’t have to be there but they can be present if you would prefer. Please be aware that due to Covid assessments they may be carried out by phone.
- You can also have a family member, a friend or a Support Worker / advocate with you.
For more information on what happens during an assessment see the Carers UK factsheet.
What happens afterwards?
After the assessment, the worker will complete the relevant paperwork on Manchester City Council’s electronic system and send to the finance team to process the one-off carers payment (If eligible criteria has been met).
A copy of the paperwork can be emailed or posted out if requested. Please contact your assessor following assessment if you have any queries or problems in relation to your paperwork or one-off carers payment.
Manchester City Council is committed to improving services for people who need care and support services and will send a satisfaction survey after the assessment process has been completed for your feedback and to improve our services.
Visit the Carers UK Carers Assessments page for more information on what happens after an assessment.
How do I get one?
The Carers Manchester Contact Point have set up a dedicated service to help you obtain a carers assessment. Contact us to find out more.
If you have already had an assessment and think you need a review of your support plan or your circumstances have changed, you should contact us first, rather than go directly to the council.
Find out more
Carers assessments factsheet
Carers UK – Carers Assessments
NHS – Carers Assessments