Needs assessment

A needs assessment will determine what care needs a person living with dementia has, and whether the local authority will contribute towards meeting them. Find out more. 

What is a needs assessment? 

The local authority has a duty to carry out an assessment of a person’s care and support needs. These are needs in relation to the outcomes they want to achieve and the things that are important to them. This is often known as a ‘needs assessment’.

The local authority uses it to decide whether the person is eligible for support. If so, the person is considered to have eligible care needs. The Care Act introduced a new national threshold for eligibility. 

The local authority will then talk to the person (and carer, if appropriate) to jointly produce a care and support plan, to work out how their needs will be met.

After that, they will consider whether the person is eligible for financial support to meet their needs. The local authority cannot refuse to assess a person because they appear to have enough money to pay for their own care. 

Assessment for care and support in England

Want more information on needs assessment? Read how to request an assessment and what to expect.

Read now

Personal budgets

A personal budget is an allocation of money calculated by a local authority as being necessary to meet a person’s eligible care needs. The local authority will provide a statement to make it clear to the person how much money is available from the local authority to meet their needs This is intended to give the person greater choice and control over how the money could be used to purchase various types of care and support

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

There will be a financial assessment and it may be necessary for the person to contribute to their personal budget. 

More information on 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).

Learn more
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