Meeting your needs

A 'needs assessment' is carried out by your local authority to determine what care and support is needed. This assessment is used it decide whether you are eligible for support.

Meeting your needs

What is a needs assessment? 

Your local authority has a duty to carry out an assessment of your care and support needs. This ‘needs assessment’ should consider the things that are important to you. The local authority uses it to decide whether you are eligible for support. If so, you are considered to have ‘eligible care needs’.

The local authority will then talk to you and your carer (if appropriate) to produce a care and support plan. This is a joint effort and you will have ideas and preferences about what you want to be in place to support you best. After that, it will consider whether you are entitled to financial support to meet your needs. The local authority cannot refuse to assess your needs because you appear to have enough money to pay for your own care, and some people find this assessment helpful. See ‘Care home fees for self-funders’ for further information.

Personal budgets

A personal budget is an amount of money the local authority will pay for your care and support. It’s intended to give you greater choice and control over how your eligible needs are met. It can cover care costs or one-off items such as paying for a computer to help you to stay in touch with people who are important to you.

Your local authority will work out how much money you need to meet your eligible care needs. You will have a financial assessment, which will include assessing what you can already afford to pay for. If you do receive a personal budget, the local authority will then provide regular statements to make it clear how much money is being paid towards meeting your needs.

There are several ways that a personal budget can be paid to you and managed. One way is direct payments, where the money is managed by you (or someone else on your behalf) and used to pay for care and support. Many people choose to have the local authority or a care agency manage their budget instead (sometimes called self-directed support or managed care).

Personal budgets

Find out what a personal budget is, who can receive one, how a personal budget can be used and how it is managed (including the direct payments option).

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